Its that rarest and most beautiful time of year, when July is full and ripe and high summer reigns in the Upper Delaware River valley.
It is easy to become lost in worry: about gas prices, the price of food, education, clothing, heat; we wonder what will become of our families, our futures. Will we have a job? Can we support our children? Can they support themselves? We fear that our beautiful region will become less than pristine. The trout will die from waters that are too warm, flooding will come again, the infrastructure will fail, the needs of the big city will surely overwhelm our own. We watch as our community becomes divided over gas drilling. Our leaders do not lead or protect us. Our country is at war. Our schools struggle with budgetary and structural concerns. The coming winter is sure to be hard. And yet… and yet…
To everything, there is a season. Turn, turn, turn.
So recorded Pete Seeger in 1962. The lyrics, taken from the Ecclesiastics verses of the King James Version of the Bible, reminds us that darkness cannot exist without light (and vice versa), and which wolf (dark or light) becomes bigger and more powerful depends on which one you feed. There are multiple bounties coming to bear right this second in our backyard. High summer brings a plethora of cultural events and this weekend alone, we can choose between The King and I at the Forestburgh Playhouse, open studio tours sponsored by the Wayne County Arts Alliance, Divas on the Delaware sponsored by the Delaware Valley Opera, a silk painting workshop sponsored by the Wayne County Arts Alliance, concerts at Weekend of Chamber Music and Bethel Woods, a film with music at the Catskill Arts Society, art openings and poetry readings at galleries scattered throughout the valley and, of course, that iconic mid-summer event, RiverFest.
The whole world is emerald green, and there are many ways to enhance the spirit just by stepping outside, taking a walk, a bike ride or swim. Gardens are in their glory, and tending your own or supporting your local farmer will bring richness to your table. (If you are in a slow food sort of mood, check out the garden tour sponsored by the Upper Delaware River Chapter of Slow Food on Sunday, followed by pot luck.) This is not the season to lose faith. It is the season to regain faith by losing ourselves in the moment, giving in to the sensuous joys of good food, good music, flowers, activity and art.
Its summertime, and the living, while not easy, is pretty good in some ways. We might as well get a little happy, at least while the warm weather holds and the river flows. Otherwise, the green days will pass and be forgotten, with nothing to store in the memory banks. We can worry later. For now, go cool your feet in the river and delight in the bounty that is ours… for free, all summer long.
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Kidney Bean Failure
Letters to the Editor
[EDITOR'S NOTE: The River Reporter welcomes letters
on all subjects from its readers. They must be signed and include
the correspondent's phone number. The correspondent's name and
town will appear at the bottom of each letter; titles
and affiliations will not, unless the correspondent is writing
on behalf of a group.
Letters are printed at the discretion of the editor.
It is requested they be limited to 300 words; correspondents may
be asked to cut longer letters. Deadline is 1:00 p.m. on Monday.
When landsmen and gas companies began snapping up leases in our area last fall, virtually none of us had ever heard of the Marcellus Shale or hydraulic fracturing. Some of us immediately saw dollar signs: leases and royalties to make us rich, or get us out of debt, or maybe just save the family farm. Others immediately began to fear the worst: contaminated water wells and ruined roads, increased crime and higher taxes, noise that would rob us of our sleep.
But weve come a long way in a few short months. Landowners have banded together to try to negotiate fair and protective leases, the Damascus Citizens for Sustainability sounded the alarm about environmental risks and Catskill Mountainkeeper brought in experts from around the country to educate us about this very complex subject.