Friday, 17 June 2011

The St Marys River, by Peter Gianakura

When my siblings and I would visit the Sault Locks back in the 1930's and as we approached the first lock, we could hear a roar coming from the north near the Canadian border. We soon discovered this sound came from the St Marys Rapids. As we crossed the locks and came closer the sound grew louder.

While attending Sault High, a classmate invited me to fish off the shore and cast into the St Marys Rapids. I had never fished at that time, but my friend had countless times. As we stood at the rocky shoreline I could see close up the roiling, boiling untamed surge of the St Marys River as the waters hit and splashed over the rocks and boulders. Some of these rocks were visible, others were hidden, but all added to the disturbance of the flow and to the roaring sound. I was mesmerized at such a spectacle, such a wonder.

Today, crossing over the International Bridge, the much tamer rapids appear. Rocks and boulders are now much more evident, the water much slower and not as disturbing. At this point man has tamed the avid path of the St Marys River.

Still the St Marys flows with a swift and powerful current and one still wonders in amazement how the native Americans, by the thousands, fished these waters in the mad tumble of water with rocks and boulders threatening their canoes and lives. Their skill was admirable and the st Marys River was the home of endless fresh water fish. The St Marys River is the dividing border between two great nations and continues to feed on both sides the senses of sight and sound and the natural species of fish that are still available. This border not only creates a division between two great nations but it also creates a spiritual connection, a friendly relationship with our Canadian neighbors.

Besides the ambiance of its flowing majesty and electric power, the river also provides us a means of conveying tons and tons of new materials and grain to meet the demands and needs of our society.

It's easy to take the St Marys for granted, but regardless, her waters have blessed us all in the past, in the present and in the future.

May she continue to feed us body and soul.

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