V: ENO RIVER
Walking through the woods at the Eno River state park, in the deathly heat of midday was surprisingly exhilarating. We caught a crayfish, saw a blue heron and a foul little black snake with a speckley white snout. I found the empty shell of another crayfish’s claw submerged in the water while sitting on a rock in the middle of the river. Rivers. River culture. I have always had a strange attraction and connection to bodies of water. I have fond memories of swimming in the Dan River with my grandfather in the mountains of Virginia where his cabin was. The Eno, and other Southern rivers that flow outside of the mountains are so different to me. The word stagnant comes to mind. In the summer they are warm, almost like bath water for the first foot or so, then cooler underneath. Rivers and lakes are like tiny swatches of natural Southern beauty that for the most part are left untouched by the urban world. Almost. There’s something so jarring about walking through the woods and stumbling on a clearing with thick metal towers supporting power lines going off into the distance in both directions. A reminder that so little of our natural world is left untouched by human hands.