Front Porch: Winter 2014

Eels fishing ground, 2014, photographed by Bernard L. Herman.

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Front Porch: Winter 2014

by Jocelyn R. Neal
Southern Cultures, Vol. 20, No. 4: Winter 2014

"Rivers take us back into history, sometimes literally, as the mighty Colorado has laid out the past in the rocky strata of the Grand Canyon. But elsewhere, that time-travel is sparked in the imagination."

One hundred and thirty years ago, Huckleberry Finn’s wild adventures on the Mississippi River first entered our imaginations, made all the more entrancing by the native lure of the water. Rivers are the lifeblood of communities, equal parts permanence and transience, ever-flowing as their waters pass through and beyond. For those who sit on the bank, the river is a muse. For those who dive into her current, the river is the road to elsewhere. Rivers take us back into history, sometimes literally, as the mighty Colorado has laid out the past in the rocky strata of the Grand Canyon. But elsewhere, that time-travel is sparked in the imagination. And rivers weave together much of this issue of Southern Cultures, inviting us to reflect or float away on one for a moment.