Twenty-Two Days Later

Maybe I was naive, but I truly believed our rivers would at least look better by now. Yesterday evening when I passed The Forks, the water had a yellowish almost mustard green look that I suppose indicates algae. Every where I go, I have overheard people talking about the spill, and the affect it may or may not have had on our drinking water.

My husband (who despises any type of waste) made a pot of coffee earlier in the week , and it tasted so strange that he poured it down the drain. I ran into an old friend in a store yesterday. She told me that she has resorted to buying the gallon jugs of water to make coffee and tea.

My father and I took a short trip to Moulton a couple of days ago to visit the Oakville Indian Mounds. We enjoyed the visit, but even in those surroundings, the Mulberry Fork was our main topic of conversation. He is 85 years old, and he cannot believe the current state of the river. He wonders if and when it will recover.

The river has been a part of so many of our family events. This stretches from the innumerable years before I was born until today. When I was very small, my mother would tell me about a flood that occurred when she was in school. She had a way of story-telling, and I could picture the water and hear its deafening rush.

The river flooded in April the year my mother died. She was very sick, and she was in a wheelchair. When she heard how high the river was, she demanded we take her to see it. She was a woman you didn’t tell “no”, so we loaded her up and rode around to every access point. Even in her suffering, she was connected to the river, and it gave her energy to see it. The river gives life.

It’s our turn now to give back to the river. We have to do for it what it cannot do for itself.

Martha SalomaaComment