Change, Connectedness, Boundaries.

        I’ve lived pretty close to the great Connecticut River for most of the past 40 years. For about 25 of those years, I lived with my wife and kids in Florence, Massachusetts – quite a few miles from the Connecticut. In those days, while driving across the Coolidge Bridge heading to the malls or to visit friends in Hadley and Amherst, I’d always steal some brief, glorious glances North and South at the river. Well before moving to the Valley, I lived alone for a brief time in Walpole, New Hampshire in a small rented Cape with a deck overlooking the Connecticut. Being between jobs, I had more time to feel the presence of the river. But It wasn’t long before I left Walpole for New York City to cast my net in the theater world. It was there I met my wife.
        Rivers are boundary makers. After leaving NYC with my wife, Andrea, and settling here in Western Massachusetts to raise our family, I learned to savor long car rides up Rte. 91 into Vermont. I particularly enjoyed glancing to my right across the River into New Hampshire and recalling another love I had there, a lifetime earlier. Andrea died over three years ago, and today I live with my partner, Teresa, in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Here the Connecticut divides our little city and the town of South Hadley.
         Rivers represent change, connectedness, and yes, boundaries. They carry us from moment to moment. They never stop flowing. They keep us on our toes. I’ve never felt as intimate with the Connecticut River as I do now. Whenever I leave my home and drive north on Route 5, I’m in awe of the light the sun casts on the river to my right.  And I love to paddle with her in my little turquoise bathtub aka kayak. On crisp days like today, my mind is clearer than ever. Traveling north I look right to South Hadley Falls and left to Holyoke as I ride on her currents. Two Great Blue Heron sightings … well it must be time to head on back to Holyoke Rows and call it another beautiful day on the river.

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