My eldest child, Jen, is an extremely special young lady. If any of you have read her blog, The Delusional, then you might know a little about that! LOL But, today I want to share with you an essay that she wrote for her Advanced English class.
The River Sings
Picture, if you will, the mighty Suwannee River. The swift current; the majestic cliffs; the mighty cypress trees lining the tranquil banks. There is a certain peace found there that I have yet to encounter anyplace else -- indeed, I have found nowhere even remotely close.
On this majestic beast of a river, I need no paintbrush. Everybody puts on at least a thin mask for the world to see; every being brushes on at least one thin layer of paint. When I decend the old, creaky wooden steps I am overcome with an overwhelming sense of place. The mask falls; the paint is washed away. The Suwannee knows all my deepest secrets -- it needs not to see the facade.
I leap from the bottom step onto the warm, sandy riverbank. My river waves to me as it rushes by.
"Hello," it says to me. "My child, how I have missed you. Welcome home."
I smile, recognizing the truth in its words. I am a daughter of the Suwannee; my soul runs free here.
Stepping lively, I race to my river and dive into its depths. A fish swims past, nibbling at my toes. I make my way down to the bottom and brush the submerged sand with the tips of my fingers.
I linger a moment before lack of breath -- and the buoyant red life jacket I wear -- force me to leave. My head breaks the surface and I wipe my duckweed-coated hair from my face.
Having greeted and in turn been welcomed by my Suwannee, I go to help my companions load the canoes. It is time to work, and I can swim again when we reach the campsite.
Later, after the boats are loaded and lunch is devoured, we shove off. A delightful thrill runs up and down my entire being, tickling my spine and awakening my senses.
The familiar scent of my Suwannee reaches my nose. I inhale deeply, relishing the sweet, earthy smell of my true home. A sigh of pleasure escapes me.
"My child, my child. Tell me, what do you think?" asks my Suwannee.
I set down my paddle for a moment -- leaving my boat partner still powering forward. I must pick it back up in a moment. I dip my hand into the water and pluck from it a small feather.
"Oh, my mother, my mother," I say. "Your scent; the sight of you; the taste, your touch, your sound -- they awake in me an eternal flame that nothing can extinguish. My soul flies free, through both the water and the trees."
"My child, my child," the river sighs. "Oh dear daughter, you return."
"I will always return to this, my home; and to you, my mother," I say. "How can I not? For you brink me to life; you sing to my soul. This...this is what it feels like to be truly alive."
I pick up the paddle and continue on the journey. The combined power of the paddle's strokes and my Suwannee's current carry us farther down its length. I smile.
The river sings.
And THAT is talent. One day soon I have a feeling that we will be reading this young lady in print. And Oh what a proud Mama I will be!