The River

January 21, 2008
By Brandon Horst, Conestoga, PA

Sinking to the depths, my mind teeters between two thoughts; whether to rise to the surface and breathe, or to blink out and welcome the darkness that surrounds me. This is the Susquehanna River, a familiar place that hides some fantastic memories. This is where I have spent many memorable days, canoeing, swimming, cooking out, and cliff-jumping.

The dark waters of the Susquehanna have embraced me countless times. They have engulfed me, and yes sometimes have even threatened to consume me. Still I cannot bring myself to think of the river as treacherous; instead its muddy waters flood my thoughts with countless brighter memories. It is a looking glass that reflects the adventurous worlds that fiction is made of; an oasis hidden in the middle of the hustle and bustle of my world.

Parting its continuous flow are numerous small islands and cliffs that jut from beneath its surface. Some are clothed with verdant forests, while others glisten in bared, weathered rock. Moss flourishes throughout the cliffs, softly cushioning feet scraped raw by the jagged rocks that dominate the sides. Thirty to forty foot precipices shape the fronts of many of the rock formations and this is where I stand. I feel my heart pounding in my chest, my pulse rising in expectation, the adrenaline rushing through me until it finally overwhelms my inhibitions and I fall, leaping off the cliff into the river. Rising to the surface of the comfortable water, I bask in the bright sunlight, and lose myself in the blue sky speckled with wispy clouds.

Floating on the gentle current of the Susquehanna, lost in midst of daydreams, I suddenly leap to an island that is very familiar to me. Standing in the midst of a forest, it is hard to believe that I have not gone far, let alone that I am surrounded by recognizable water. Where I stand, the soil is littered with stones, and green leaves, and small pieces of dead wood. Thorns form walls too thick to penetrate, and the trunks of aged trees are strung with vines of all sorts. Before me, a welcoming fire crackles and dances with the gentle breeze as it melds with nature. The wafting aroma of fresh pork and roasting apples fills the air. Sitting on a rock, inhaling the atmosphere, the whole scene spins dizzyingly around me, and I am sitting on the bank of the old river.
The sun is setting, recreating the landscape so that the rocks are shrouded in mysterious shadows; accentuating the water sparkling in a multi-colored robe; and the sky filled with all hues of reds, and blues, and purples. The Susquehanna River ends its days with a performance so awesome that it could only be God’s own handiwork.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.

MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!