Sunday, September 20, 2009

Simple Gifts of the Shenandoah River


Shenandoah River
A couple canoes through the quiet waters of the Shenandoah River in Bentonville, Virginia.

Let your imagination go along with the flow of this great river.

Gilded by spring sunrise, the Shenandoah ripples and rolls gently into the misty light. There is muscular exuberance in its rapids, danger in its floods. But on most days the river welcomes even novice explorers with lyric grace. Virginia naturalist Henry Heatwole called this a land of "small and simple pleasures." Carrying bits of fall's color, the North Fork sparkles over aquatic grasses carpeting its stream bed

Massanutten Mountain matches curves with the South Fork, watching over Page Valley and the Blue Ridge rising in the east, here ridge and river find accommodation, folding around each other, ancient comrades settled comfortably with time. The river, hip deep, crystal clear, bath warm and just 30 or 40 yards wide, soothing both to the eye and overheated body.

Bound by mountains a quarter of a billion years old, the river meandering forks drop sharply from highland headwaters, flowing northward to their confluence at Fort Royal. From there a single channel continues for 60 miles to meet the Potomac. Beginning and ending above the fall line, the river never meets the sea.

The waters of forgetfulness do not flow in this valley, where even the sky seems to remember the storm of civil war that blew up and down the Shenandoah. Each May historical reenactors join Virginia Military Institute cadets on New Market battlefield. They honor valor, Union and Confederate alike. Reminded of old struggles, we remember to treasure peace flowing through the land, gentle as the river.

From the National Geographic, December 1996

17 comments:

WELCOME TO MY WORLD OF POETRY: said...

Another interesting post Margaret, it's good to know about other parts of the world. Very well written.

Have a good week.
Yvonne.

Puss-in-Boots said...

Wow, I didn't know the Shenandoah never meets the sea. What a beautifully written piece of prose, Margaret.

Judy said...

Hi Margaret, A great post. I enjoyed it very much. I almost have my own river this morning. It has rained here for two days. I am ready for less water and more sunshine! Have a good week.

Tea said...

This post flowed like the river as I read it! Very enjoyable! Thank you, Margaret!

Our youngest lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, just a few years ago went to the battle grounds when they had a reenactment. She loved it.

caspersmom said...

The "small and simple pleasures" in the first paragraph describes our Sacramento river behind us. The width is about the same. Love to watch the sun on the water in the mornings, the beautiful sunrises and of course the ducks, geese and birds. We also have civil war re-enactors at one of the parks in our little city even though the civil war has never been anywhere near her. Enjoyed reading your post Margaret.

A New Beginning said...

Thanks for sharing the interesting post :) Have a great week ahead!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Margaret ~~ A lovely very descriptive post about a gentle river. You write so well my friend.
Glad you enjoyed the jokes and got a smile from them. Thank you so much for your concern about John and his long trip to the funeral of his friend. That was so sad, his mate riding across America in 11 days, and the near the end of another ride a deer appeared and hit him on his side and he was knocked off his bike, flown to hospital by helicopter, but he died at 53. It was a large funeral with well over 100 bikers following the hearse. John got home yesterday
and rang me about 3pm, much to my relief.
Take care my friend and be safe. Love, Merle.

Linda said...

This is so very beautiful. Thank you.

ML said...

Beautifully written, really enjoyed it.
ML

Patty said...

Very nice article. Hope you enjoyed writing it.

Mowed the backyard this afternoon, some places didn't need to be mowed, it grows very fast through the center part.

Almost time to start some supper/dinner. Around here we call it supper in the evening and lunch at noon, except Sundays lunch time is called dinner. I have no idea why.

Want to see the judging of Dancing With The Start tonight.

Hope you and family are all OK.

√ Abraham Lincoln said...

The simple pleasures you described are fitting for this post. I read it with pleasure.

Thanks for helping me to make history.
Pick a Peck of Pixels

TT said...

Thank you Mrs Margaret! I am very thankful for MY mom and I am also very happy to share her with my fur brother Shadow and fur sister Molly. MY mom is the best to cuddle with too!


~ Sir Trooder Lioncourt ~

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

The Shenendoah has akways held a kind of romantic essence in my mind...I don't mean "romance"...I mean the romance of water and land---rivers and mountains. And I always loved that song...Oh Shenendoah...that's probably not the correct name but it is a beautiful Folk Song.
A lovely lovely post, my dear....It brought up all those feelings of the love of the rivers and the land...Thank You for that!

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

beautiful post Margaret.

kuluth said...

Beautiful post Margaret,

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and for your comments

Merle said...

Hello Margaret~~Not sure if I am anonymous tonight or Merle. I am so glad you enjoyed the
Graduation story. It is amazing how our actions can help someone along the way. I hope your Doug had a Happy Birthday. My John is 55. They do grow up on us, don't they? I hope you are having a lovely weekend. Take caremy friend and be safe.
Love, Merle.

Midlife Mom said...

What a lovely post! So descriptive, makes me feel like I have been there!

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