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Remember: At the Forks of the Delaware

Thursday, August 20, 2009

At the Forks of the Delaware

He looked around, as if he was seeing the world ... for the first time. Beautiful was the world, colorful was the world, strange and mysterious was the world! Here was blue, here was yellow, here was green, the sky and the river flowed, the forest and the mountains were rigid, all of it was beautiful, all of it was mysterious and magical, and in its midst was he” - Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

I confess that I am drawn to water. I love standing on the banks of a creek or river and just watching. I quoted Siddhartha because I think frequently think of that book whenever standing riverside. If you have read it, you know why. I have yet to hear a river speak but it certainly isn’t because of a lack of listening.

Here, at the Forks of the Delaware is one of the best riverside views you are going to find in Eastern Pennsylvania. The historic Lehigh and Delaware rivers meet in an embrace that if you have never witnessed I recommend taking a drive down Route 22 and taking a look for yourself; these pictures do no justice to the beauty that is present there.

Walking alongside the Delaware, I headed to the free bridge to take a walk across and look at the rivers from above.

My journey across the bridge now allows me to say that I have walked to New Jersey although I am not entirely sure going to New Jersey is something to be that proud of…

What is it about the river that is so alluring? For me, the first thing is the wonder of watching something that is at all times a constant but while remaining, changing at every second. The river is always there, it is always a river but it is never the same. Between blinks, what you are witnessing is in a constant state of flux. I consider that often as I watch the water passing.

There are a thousand things I could say about the Forks of the Delaware. There is the short story but long history of human development that occurred because of these rivers. I could mention the long story and even longer geologic history that these rivers share. Heck, I could write an entire blog post about shad.

I will not be doing any of those things. I encourage you to use google to find out about those things, especially if you are tempted to look at whatever Jon and Kate plus eight are up to. I am going to end this blog post with a few more pictures and a poem by Gary Snyder. Mr. Snyder is someone I consider an inspiration and a future blog entry will be dedicated to him. Check him out if you are unfamiliar and please take the time to see the Lehigh meet the Delaware, it is worth it.

For All –Gary Snyder

Ah to be alive
on a mid-September morn
fording a stream
barefoot, pants rolled up,
holding boots, pack on,
sunshine, ice in the shallows,
northern rockies.

Rustle and shimmer of icy creek waters
stones turn underfoot, small and hard as toes
cold nose dripping
singing inside
creek music, heart music,
smell of sun on gravel.

I pledge allegiance

I pledge allegiance to the soil
of Turtle Island,
and to the beings who thereon dwell
one ecosystem
in diversity
under the sun
With joyful interpenetration for all.

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Blogger LVCI said...

Indeed a beautiful area once again after repairs from the 2004 floods.

I made a video on Oct. 23, 2004 about this location right after the Forks of the Delaware Flooding.

Don't miss the Hugh Moore Park area up there either.

Map of Hugh Moore Canal Park Area

August 20, 2009 at 9:30 AM  
Blogger Andrew Kleiner said...

Thanks for the links LVCI. It became an intention for me and this blog to visit all of the parks in the region but with the contentious situation in Allentown regarding Cedar Beach and the need for a new environmental focus in Allentown parks, I have and will continue to devote most of my blog here.

I've got some Bethlehem parks on the way, but until I see more active environmental restoration in our parks, I'll be blogging on.

Hugh Moore is a really interesting park that I will get around to.

August 20, 2009 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger Andrew Kleiner said...

I also did not include the pictures I took on the other side of the river where the D&L folks have set up a wonderful canal museum. There is a shad restoration project there as well. I will get to all that eventually.

August 20, 2009 at 9:45 AM  

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