Saturday, November 24, 2012
Among the river-loving friends I have made along the way is Karen Young. The story that appears in this weekend's Philadelphia Inquirer celebrates her achievements at the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center (FWWIC) and the future of Philadelphia, a city finally going green.
I'll post the link tomorrow (today is now tomorrow; here is the link). I share the first two paragraphs below. Great thanks to Avery Rome, the Inquirer Features editor who invited me and others (Karen Rile, Elizabeth Mosier, Lise Funderburg, Kelly McQuain) to think out loud in the Inquirer Currents section a few months ago. We have loved every second of working with Avery and cheer her forward as she now moves on to new realms and dreams.
Of the two rivers that carry Philadelphia’s dreams toward the sea, it is the Schuylkill that has always snagged a good chunk of my heart. It feels personal to me—the Schuylkill’s roving through time, her baptisms and floods, her primeval sheen, her helpless submission to toxins and sludge, her muddy regrets and redemption. The river rises and falls. She floats us on her back and steeps. She comes at us from the hills and carries on beyond us. We know her, and we need her, and she is a mystery.When we ruin the Schuylkill we ruin ourselves. We become, as we once were, a city with a stench, a city that festers. We forfeit all three faces of time—the past, the present, the future.