The Delaware river means a lot of things to me, including history, family, clan, and tribe. I am Lenape first nations, the tribe that is indigenous to the Delaware river. As a child growing up, i spent my springs fishing it, my summers swimming in it, and my autumns and winters hunting in the shadows of the Water Gap, and enjoying the views and memories of the ice pack build ups.
But today's story i would like to dedicate to my beautiful wife pictured here along with me at "hawks nest" just above Port Jervis N.Y.
In 2004 Ellen was diagnosed with a benign meningioma brain tumor that had grown such volume that it was affecting her health. We had scheduled surgery at Penn University hospital to have it removed.
As we were discussing the upcoming surgery, she mentioned to me that she had never seen an eagle in it's natural setting. We had heard about the return of the eagles in the upper Delaware River area, so we went on a day-trip from our house in the Poconos up to the Narrowsburg N.Y. area.
As we were driving along, I wanted so badly for her to see an eagle that literally every few minutes I would mistake a snow-covered tree limb for one, or I would see a bird way off in the distance and proclaim it to be an eagle!!
Finally as we were driving along a stretch of road between Berryville and where the Lackawaxen meets the Delaware, an eagle blessed us with flying directly over the car, and perching in a pine tree not more than 40 yards away!! Of course this was such a majestic and inspiring site to see, that I immediately pulled the car over along rt 97, jumped out of the car, and yelled praises and thanks to it for honoring us with it's presence!! (I had not yet learned the edicate of eagle watching, but I was about to!) You guessed it, the eagle took off immediately and flew across the river to the mountain of the other side!!
That was our first "Eagle watching" road trip, and I am happy to say that the operation was successful, my wife made a good recovery from it, and we continue our annual road trips upriver to this day!!
Over the years we have invited friends to join us, and many good memories have been made on this day trip.
There are so many more things I could say about my homeland river, my family's history ties into it so much, our tribal community still goes to the river for ceremony every year, and the beauty and serenity of this river has literally been the back-drop to my life. I would never leave it, the river is my home.