Friday, April 18, 2008

The Severn

Valerie Nebbia, a girl I went to high school with, has written a beautiful description of Annapolis and the Severn river.

The smell - that nearly rotten brackish smell - twists through the stray wisps of my hair as I peddle my Schwinn down past the large water-front homes and through the tall trees to the edge of the peninsula.

Now I see the water-logged stars and breakers go about their usual business. Fishermen still sit with their poles beside them though time nears mid-day and the chances of making a good catch slim rapidly. They hesitate to leave lest the perfect fish should pass and never return.

A blue heron shoots a suspicious eye in my direction and launches in, to safer and quieter ground. This native celebrity has no tolerance for interruptions. You will never find her sunning at the community pool nor venturing out to the super market. No, she keeps to herself and considers it an offense when others do not as well.

In the distance cloudy-white patches of fabric rise from barely visible ships beneath them and labor to pull their vessels against the tide.

I was born out of this river. My hem eternally pinned to its shores by the warning lights that spear deep into its body along every inlet. I am tied to its docks. I am forever bound by this place for it holds captive the root of my peace - an unbreakable chain and the origin of its lock unknown to me to this day.

Whenever I leave, I feel as though I am a ghost, a breathless and inadequate print of my true self. Always the sweet melodies of the Severn call me home. And when I return my heart beat slows and steadies as the water against docked boats in the harbor.

For truly my wholeness is here - my heaven.
Annapolis is one of the three places I call home (along with Tuscaloosa and Charleston, SC). If you're at home around the water, this may resonate with you.

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