River in Flood

Joseph Bridy | Pennsylvania

When I was young, my friends and brothers often played on the banks of the Susquehanna River, if we had most of a day to ourselves. There were always fishermen on the banks we knew and a bit of comparative wilderness to explore in the city. One summer day six of us were down walking along the water’s edge. It had been raining for days, and the river level had been going down, so there were lots of debris trapped and dead animals and stranded fish in shallow pools. But it was still storming upstream. On this morning, suddenly, the water up-stream quickly rose several feet in as many minutes, and we had to shout out a warning and each of us had to run and jump and wade over to the shore and scramble up the river bank, or we would have swept away. That panic and fear for our young lives taught us to be very much more observant and respectful of the signs, cycles and power of a free and unbridled nature and our Susquehanna River.

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