Saturday, July 30, 2011

The River Isle

The river Isle could be considered idyllic, perfect. She considers herself merely herself.  It is born Massif Central, near the town Nexon, south of Limoges and flows quietly out at Libourne just outside of Bordeaux, a tributary of the Dordogne river. She wanders and procrastinates, carving out spaces for little towns that use it as part of their names like Saint-Seurin-sur-L'Isle, Saint Louis en L'Isle and Razac-sur-L'Isle. Along her sleepy way, she looks up at little sandstone cliffs, blackberry-covered banks and small chateaux. The bridges that arch over it, drop petals from their flower baskets, perhaps in thanks for being such a lovely river. The river enjoys kayaks, canoes and paddle boats on its waters. She is too mild a river to care about the two pronunciations of its name, L'Isle; either LEEL or with the a soft S sound, LEESEH-leh

One day, the peaceful river was disturbed. An UNenvironmentally-conscience person had dumped something of of her bridge at Montpon! The quiet of the Saturday afternoon was further broken by the cries of two young females and the shrieks of a toddler. As the river reassured herself that the boy had not fallen in (that would never do), she tasted something...acrid. Batteries? Yes, triple A batteries, a memory card and a digital camera had been dropped into her green lily-padded waters.  

The Isle was so indignant that she immediately swallowed it all, not giving the camera a chance to rise to the surface. However, then she was able to catch the conversation of a man on a bicycle who stopped beside the two girls.

"It was your camera that fell? If it is floating?"

"No, thank you. It sank."

"I could go down to the marina and get a boat to recover it for you."

"No, it's all right. It's gone. It was my fault; I put it on the flower basket to get an automatic picture of all of us. Thank you anyway, sir."

If the river could have turned her face away from the blue sky and the girls who continued to peer down at her, she would have. All she could do, however, was reflect back the fluffy white clouds, the red petunias, yellow lantana flowers and their worried faces. She pretended she was just a mute body of water that could not think or judge on first impressions or be ashamed or be sorry over an accident.

(By the way, this is why I don't have any pictures of this river to show you...irony ;)


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