Deep River

January 20, 2016 § Leave a comment

A Word Portrait.

This one is a river, deep and slow and strong. Not the clear hard rivers of New England, with their rocks and shallow swiftness, their sharp turns and hissing rapids – but a river of the old South, the wide gentle rivers that support sloping stretches of fertile greenness for miles on either side, brown rivers of earth and water both.

In such rivers, strong currents run deep, and so it is with her. She is changeable on the surface, even passionate; now there are tears, now there is a glowing sun-smile, now there is anger as a harsh wind whips water to white foam.

Surface problems affect her in a storm of emotion and white-capped floods, but they soon pass, and she is unchanged at the core. A deep river is not easily altered; it settles in its course and resists redirection. Over time she changes, but it is gradual and steady. The rare swift change is painful, and fiercely contested; it takes a dam, the digging of a new channel, floodgates, massive stone.

The depths of the river are steady and purposeful, with the power to pull a swimmer to the dark of the bottom, to smother or thrive as they will. Some suffocate and drown when they touch the river’s core and cannot escape; others strive to flee when they realize they are drowning; most remain on the banks, thriving in the endless comfort and rich fertility of water and earth, farming the green slopes, content to be affectionate companions and no more. Much more than that is dangerous; it means risking the undertow.

Yet there are some, those rare few, who have gills and can breathe water; there are those who can navigate the currents and delight in doing so. For them, there is no better place than the closeness of the deep river…

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