100 River Quotes That Will Teach You About Life

These river quotes will inspire you to move forward through life and create your own path.

The river is a body of flowing water that travels to a sea, lake, or stream. Its movement and power to carve new paths for itself is a characteristic that is often used in literature.

As humans, we are blessed by the healing effect of nature. But, wildlife and rivers are more valued for the lessons it brings to our lives using metaphors. Our collection below is full of wisdom about the enlightenment that the river brings, so don’t miss out!

Read the complete collection below to learn more.

River Quotes That Will Teach You About Life

And don’t forget to check out these water quotes and forest quotes.

Best River Quotes

1. “The river moves, but it follows a path. When it tires of one journey, it rubs through some rock to forge a new way. Hard work, but that’s its nature.” – Kekla Magoon

2. “Be like a river. Be open. Flow.” – Julie Connor

3. “A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence.” – Jim Watkins

4. “Rivers flow not past but through us. Tingling, vibrating, exciting every cell and fiber in our bodies, making them sing and glide.” – John Muir

5. “A river is a river, always there, and yet, the water flowing through it is never the same water and is never still. It’s always changing and is always on the move, and over time, the river itself changes too.” – Aidan Chambers

6. “A river has many curves, but it always reaches the ocean.” – Donald L. Hicks

7. “The river is one of my favorite metaphors, the symbol of the great flow of life itself. The river begins at the source and returns to source unerringly.” – Jeffrey R. Anderson

8. “A river seems a magic thing—a magic, moving, living part of the very earth itself.” – Laura Gilpin

9. “A river is water in its loveliest form. Rivers have life and sound and movement and infinity of variation. Rivers are veins of the earth through which the lifeblood returns to the heart.” – Roderick Haig-Brown

10. “What makes a river so restful to people is that it doesn’t have any doubt. It is sure to get where it is going, and it doesn’t want to go anywhere else.” – Hal Boyle

11. “The river has great wisdom and whispers its secrets to the hearts of men.” – Mark Twain

12. “Life is like the river, sometimes it sweeps you gently along, and sometimes, the rapids come out of nowhere.” – Emma Hale

13. “A river continues to flow despite losing a few drops at each turn.” – Matshona Dhliwayo

14. “A river doesn’t just carry water, it carries life.” – Amit Kalantri

15. “Rivers know this—there is no hurry. We shall get there someday.” – A.A. Milne

Quotes About the River That Will Inspire You

16. “May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

17. “The hard path is often the right one. The river teaches more than the shore.” – Maxime Lagace

18. “Who hears the rippling of rivers will not utterly despair of anything.” – Henry David Thoreau

19. “The river teaches us many things, but its most important teaching is this, whatever is happening around you, you keep flowing to your own destination following your own way!” – Mehmet Murat İldan

20. “Rivers are places that renew our spirit, connect us with our past, and link us directly with the flow and rhythm of the natural world.” – Ted Turner

21. “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” – Heraclitus

22. “Despite the ferocity of the current, a river is always moving, but it’s always in the same place. And much like a river, while we should surge forward with great ferocity, our principles should never move.” – Craig D. Lounsbrough

23. “Rivers are roads which move, and which carry us whither we desire to go.” – Blaise Pascal

24. “A dream is like a river, ever-changing as it flows, and a dreamer’s just a vessel that must follow where it goes.” – Garth Brooks

25. “Many a calm river begins as a turbulent waterfall, yet none hurtles and foams all the way to the sea.” – Mikhail Lermontov

Also read: Inspirational Quotes, Encouraging Quotes

Poetic Quotes on Rivers

26. “When the river meets the ocean, the memories of the river meet the memories of the ocean. These two different worlds have many stories to tell each other!” – Mehmet Murat İldan

27. “I would love to live like a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding.” – John O’Donohue

28. “In rivers, the water that you touch is the last of what has passed and the first of that which comes, so with present time.” – Leonardo da Vinci

29. “To put your hands in a river is to feel the chords that bind the earth together.” – Barry Lopez

30. “Love is like a river, never-ending as it flows, but gets greater with time.” – Reinhold Niebuhr

Also read: Nature Quotes, Cloud Quotes

River Quotes That Are Full of Wisdom

31. “Rivers never go in reverse, so try to live like a river. Forget your past and focus on your future.” – Anonymous

32. “Learn from a river. Obstacles may force it to change its course, but never its destination.” – Matshona Dhliwayo

33. “Rivers are roads that move and carry us whither we wish to go.” – Blaise Pascal

34. “Flow like a river, calmly, naturally, enjoying the present moment, without thinking of the ocean, and finally, you will be there!” – Mehmet Murat İldan

35. “With heavy rainfall, the river will overflow its banks. This is the spirit of gratitude. The more grateful you are, the more your life overflow with abundance.” – Lailah Gifty Akita

36. “The river has taught me to listen. You will learn from it too. The river knows everything. One can learn everything from it. You have already learned from the river that it is good to strive downwards, to sink, to seek the depths.” – Hermann Hesse

37. “A river will find its path to the ocean, be positive and be focused.” – P.S. Jagadeesh Kumar

38. “The life in us is like the water in the river. It may rise this year higher than man has ever known it and flood the parched uplands. Even this may be the eventful year, which will drown out all our muskrats. It was not always dry land where we dwell.” – Henry David Thoreau

39. “A river never wants to turn into a lake, and a person who likes to flow like a river never wants to be something stagnant like a lake!” – Mehmet Murat İldan

40. “There are no guarantees in life, no certainties in life, just the ever-changing, flowing river of life.” – Rasheed Ogunlaru

41. “When you stop beside a river, you get this message—flow! And when you flow, you meet the never-seen and the never-lived parts of the life!” – Mehmet Murat İldan

42. “Besides the river, there are two things you never forget—that the moment you look at a river, that moment has already passed and that everything is on its way somewhere else.” – Niall Williams

43. “If a stone hits a river, the river will treat it as yet another commotion in its already tumultuous course. Nothing unusual. Nothing unmanageable. If a stone hits a lake, however, the lake will never be the same again.” – Elif Shafak

44. “The way to the place you wish to go can always be found. Just behave like a river, that is to say, firstly, move and secondly, move with no hesitation!” – Mehmet Murat İldan

45. “The river is constantly turning and bending, and you never know where it’s going to go and where you’ll wind up. Following the bend in the river and staying on your own path means that you are on the right track. Don’t let anyone deter you from that.” – Eartha Kitt

Also read: Wave Quotes

Short River Quotes

46. “The river will always be the river, but never the river you know.” – Anonymous

47. “When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” – Rumi

48. “Love, like a river, will cut a new path whenever it meets an obstacle.” – Crystal Middlemas

49. “No one tests the depth of the river with both feet.” – Ashanti Proverb

50. “The care of rivers is not a question of rivers but of the human heart.” – Shozo Tanaka

51. “The first river you paddle runs through the rest of your life.” – Lynn Culbreath Noel

52. “Sometimes, there’s just no way to hold back the river.” – Paulo Coelho

53. “We steer the boat. We don’t alter the river.” – J. Earp

54. “You drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it.” – Paulo Coelho

55. “I feel a continuous river of faith flowing for ages.” – Geeta Tripathee

56. “A river unneeded still finds its way down to the ocean.” – Will Advise

57. “The river waters quench the thirst of all living beings.” – Ram Nath Kovind

58. “Don’t push the river, it will flow. Don’t push the love, it will grow.” – Chinese Proverb

59. “As long as you can find the river, you can find your way home.” – The Good Dinosaur

Also read: Short Quotes

Beautiful River Quotes

60. “The river was so blue it seemed to be breathing.” – Brian Morton

61. “I thought how lovely and how strange a river is.” – Aidan Chambers

62. “The moving, living river carries the soul of this earth, the murmurs of its music, how the whispers arise from the riverbed only to lull you in the deeps.” – Jayita Bhattacharjee

63. “You can’t be unhappy in the middle of a big, beautiful river.” – Jim Harrison

64. “The river is such a tranquil place, a place to sit and think of romance and the beauty of nature, to enjoy the elegance of swans and the chance of a glimpse of a kingfisher.” – Jane Wilson-Howarth

65. “I have never seen a river that I could not love. Moving water has a fascinating vitality.” – Roderick Haig-Brown

66. “The river asked me who I was to be gazing so longingly into her curving body of cascading dreams and shifting beauty.” – Todd Crawshaw

67. “If the earth is a mother, then rivers are her veins.” – Amit Kalantri

68. “I choose to listen to the river for a while, thinking river thoughts before joining the night and the stars.” – Edward Abbey

69. “A good river is nature’s life work in song.” – Mark Helprin

70. “A river is more than an amenity. It is a treasure. It offers a necessity of life that must be rationed among those who have power over it.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

71. “The river knows the way to the sea. Without a pilot, it runs and falls, blessing all lands with its charity.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

72. “We must begin thinking like a river if we are to leave a legacy of beauty and life for future generations.” – David Brower

Deep Quotes That Highlight How Rivers Are Metaphors for Life

73. “Life is much like a river. I can’t determine where the river comes from or where it’s flowing to, but I can immerse myself in it as it’s flowing by me.” – Craig D. Lounsbrough

74. “Life is like a river. Let it flow in its own way. Never try to control it.” – Shobana Rajasundaram

75. “While the river of life glides along smoothly, it remains the same river. Only the landscape on either bank seems to change.” – Max Muller

76. “Life is a river of ordeals that makes men swim upstream so that they may chase after their dreams, and whoever refuses to swim gets washed away downstream and be dragooned to drown to its defeatist depths.” – Picazo Basha

77. “Life is like a river. It will either drag you with its flow, or you can learn to surf. The choice is yours.” – Nitin Kishore Rawat

78. “Life is a deep river. Its noise breaks us in parts, and its silence slowly silent our heart.” – Anonymous

Quotes to Learn About the Connection Between Rivers and Peace

79. “A river flows freely from its source.” – Lailah Gifty Akita

80. “Surrender to the flow of the river of life, yet do not float down the river like a leaf or a log. While neither attempting to resist life nor to hurry it, become the rudder and use your energy to correct your course to avoid the whirlpools and undertow.” – Jonathan Lockwood Huie

81. “Be still like a mountain and flow like a great river.” – Lao Tzu

82. “One can flow harmoniously with the river, or one can struggle fearfully against the river, and the river just flows.” – Jonathan Lockwood Huie

83. “The river flows at its own sweet will, but the flood is bound in the two banks. If it were not thus bound, its freedom would be wasted.” – Vinoba Bhave

84. “I had no plans of any destination. I wish to flow like a river.” – Lailah Gifty Akita

River Quotes That Will Give You a Powerful Message

85. “Days and rivers are the same. They both flow to the unknown oceans.” – Mehmet Murat İldan

86. “I was still water held by my surroundings. I am now a river carving my own path.” – Scott Stabile

87. “He who does not know his way to the sea should take a river for his guide.” – Blaise Pascal

88. “In the harmonious synthesis of the opposite ends of the river, flows the stream of happiness.” – Awdhesh Singh

89. “I understand that everything is connected, that all roads meet, and that all rivers flow into the same sea.” – Paulo Coelho

90. “Have you also learned that secret from the river? That there is no such thing as time? That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere and that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of the future.” – Hermann Hesse

91. “Although we are in different boats, you in your boat and we in our canoe, we share the same river of life.” – Oren Lyons

92. “You want to be a river? This is not necessary because you can be a river without being a river. Just flow in your life. This is what the rivers are doing. They are flowing!” – Mehmet Murat İldan

93. “We can’t always be the bridge. Sometimes, we have to be the flooding river.” – K. Weikel

94. “The river itself portrays humanity precisely, with its tortuous windings, its accumulation of driftwood, its unsuspected depths, and its crystalline shallows, singing in the summer sun.” – Myrtle Reed

Meaningful River Quotes

95. “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time.” – Norman Maclean

96. “Rivers run through our history and folklore and link us as a people. We are a nation rich in rivers.” – Charles Kuralt

97. “I had been afraid of the awful presence of the river, which was the soul of the river, but through her, I learned that my spirit shared in the spirit of all things.” – Rudolfo Anaya

98. “Do not despise the water droplets that you receive. Soon, they will be a river.” – Bruce Mbanzabugabo

99. “The rush of the river was a voice, a presence. Water flowed in different to the heave and plunge of the sun, the shrouded moon, and the slow spin of the stars.” – Steven Erikson

100. “No river can return to its source, yet all rivers must have a beginning.” – American Indian Proverb

Also read: Meaningful Quotes

What Lesson Did You Learn From These River Quotes?

The river lets us appreciate the beauty and power that nature holds. It is a perfect place to relax and reflect on life, and it helps us learn more about ourselves and our role in the world.

But, above all, the biggest lesson the river teaches us is to continue moving forward in life. No matter how many hurdles and obstacles are there, we should power through and focus on our goals. Always be like the river that paves the way, even if there are none.

We hope that these river quotes were able to inspire you to keep going and fighting through any problem. Remember to flow calmly and cherish every moment.

Which river quote made you realize something about yourself? Did you enjoy this river quote collection? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!