Water Gives Life

Emily Mastrelli | Delaware River, Matamoras PA & Montague NJ

My name is Emily, and the Delaware River has given me and my family life for 4 generations. I was born and raised in Matamoras, PA on the Delaware River, literally. She lives on Delaware Drive which is about 200 feet off the river. In addition, my family’s farm is located directly off the Delaware River in Montague, New Jersey. The river has fed the soil of my family’s farm long before we came. It provided my great-grandparents dairy and corn farm with water for the crops and farm animals. Although we no longer have dairy cows, the small cornfields still bear corn for feed. And the rest of the land is filled with trees that open onto the river.

The river was the source of my happiness as a child, and still brings me happiness as an adult. It has fed, and continues to feed my family’s farm and fed our souls. The river gives us life. It provides the farmers who rent our cornfields with profit to feed their families.

The peacefulness of the Delaware River had flowed through my mother, sister and I in every season. In the winter, we would watch the bald eagles ripping apart fish on the ice, and watch the snow fall on it’s icy current. In the Springtime, we watched the leaves come to life and color the banks with the hope of new life. The summer brought endless hours of fun for me, my family and my friends. It was a gathering place for three generations as we would celebrate 4th of July on our family’s farmland together. And I could finally open my bedroom windows which faced the river and I would let the river’s current lull me to sleep. In the fall, the honk of the Canada geese landing on the water and the leaves turning the reflection of the water into a beautiful golden red filled my heart with immense joy. The river has always been there. It holds some of my most greatest and happiest memories, including of those loved ones who are no longer here. When my son was born, I brought him home as soon as I could to see the river, no matter that he had no idea what the river is or what it holds for me. Someday, he will. And it will hold a special place for him, too.

I moved to San Diego to follow my husband in his military career. He was also born and raised near the Delaware River. Having to move away from the river left a huge void in my soul. I miss it every single day, and I think of it and my life at home, often. I think of the cliffs, rocks and trees that line the river and pay silent tribute to it’s power. I miss my mother’s home and the windows that let in the cool sounds of my childhood. I miss the front porch where I have spend countless hours rocking in rocking chairs, watching the water softly flow by. I can still feel the water going over my paddle as I canoe it’s rifts and currents. I can always feel the water moving through my hands and past me as it goes on to further places. Although I have left the river, the river has never, ever left me- and it never will. It has left an impression on my soul and it gave me life.

The Delaware River provides over 300 miles of life-giving fresh water to over 15 million people. Drinking water, recreation, and water for their businesses and farms. The Delaware River is consistently one of the cleanest and most pristine rivers in the contiguous United States.

I follow American Rivers on instagram, and I have yet to see the Delaware River featured. I would love to see the Delaware River featured!

The photo attached is what i see as I canoe. It’s not award winning, but it shows the beauty and peace the Delaware River represents.

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