This morning the valley was heavy with fog

Dedicated to the Susquehanna River

This morning the valley surrounding the river was heavy with fog. From the highest point, the trees looked just like islands, jagged and strange, solid and stationary anchors in a stormy sea.

The river is wide. She is fairly shallow. Unnavigable she has been called disdainfully by those seeking profits, due to her lack of depth and her rocky bottom. How dare she refuse to be the way that people want her to be?

She is dammed. And damned. Her flow is altered. She is harnessed, hemmed in. She is captive, and controlled. Her waters are funnelled, restricted. She is owned.

Her children no longer have a home within her. They have been chased away, a process begun many years ago. The sturgeon, the eels, the fish. Some gone, some scarce, flesh tainted with chemicals. She is both poisoned and poisonous. She grieves.

But still she moves. She slithers and snakes. She is dangerous and calm. She has shaped the land she lives in and has been shaped by it. She is ancient. She is serpent. She is swift. She has seen much.

She waits for rain. For her blood, for life to fall from the sky,

She waits to flood. She waits to rise, to be unleashed.
To swell and flow over her banks
Washing away the dams that hold her back.

She is mighty. She is fierce. She is power itself.

She waits. She is patient. She is lovely.

She wants.

To be free.

Thank you for listening,

photo by Natasha


4 responses to “This morning the valley was heavy with fog

  1. Thank you for this. I, too, was caught in the mists today. I needed the mists.

    • I love that we both travel towards the river but in opposite directions. Lovely perspective. The mist and fog these past few mornings has been stunning. I swear I can hear that river speaking at times, if I listen hard enough. Love you Beth!

  2. Mankind will prove to be a failed experiment, but the river will still be rolling along. I don’t always respond, but I always read your stuff. You are a great writer.

    • Awe, that means truly a lot Uncle Mike. Really. Thank you for saying that. I find the human race and our culture completely maddening and writing helps me not go crazy lol. Our species certainly doesn’t make very good decisions for the most part, does it? The natural world however, is ancient. And not insane like we are. There’s solace to be found there you know? If there’s a chance humans can learn to live a different way, the lessons are surely in the ancient things. The rivers, the rocks. They still speak the truth. For sure, that beautiful river will march on no matter what happens to us. There’s some hope in that, right? In a world that can sometimes feel terribly hopeless. Much love to you. Thank you for your kind words, and for reading.

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