The Tide in the River

A short verse stuck in my mind over 20 years ago, and has been playing there off and on out of a proper context. I’m pretty sure it came to me in a book of poems for children, and somewhere along the way I incorrectly connected it with Longfellow; when recently I searched around online for a while I found that the author is Eleanor Farjeon.

Only once that I can remember did the meaning fit with the situation, when I was with my dear husband on a short getaway to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We were staying in the company town of Scotia in way-northern California, where the sawmill is built near the Eel River.

After dinner we walked in the dark around the village of Rio Dell close by, and on our way back to the hotel stopped on the bridge to lean over the rail; we listened to the quiet flowing noise and could barely make out the stream down below. Here was the right time and place, and the verse very nimbly popped into my mind, and I recited:

The tide in the river,
The tide in the river,
The tide in the river runs deep.
I saw a shiver
Pass over the river
As the tide turned in its sleep.

         –Eleanor Farejon

Now we’re celebrating that blessed day once more, but we’re driving to California’s Central Coast this time for our little vacation, to the town of Cambria where we spent part of our honeymoon and which we haven’t visited since. Maybe we’ll go to the beach this time. Let me see, do I know any beach-y verse I could get ready?

7 thoughts on “The Tide in the River

  1. My favorite place in the whole world, or one of them, Have a lovely time and a lovely anniversary, Ours is coming up too, only I ruin ours I always get chicks and we can't go anywhere.
    I forget that. I hope you get to go down to the beach.
    It should be just lovely this time of year.

    Like

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