Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Salmon Chanting Bridge


Deep below the dark surface of the lower Willamette River, on a moonlit night, the ancient race of fish makes their way upstream towards their birth streams. Their ancestors have made this journey a number of times too numerous to record. Their migration is an ancient ritual, known to the first people of this land and all others in human memory.  Although they are not as numerous as they were in a previous time, these fish are survivors, driven by primal instincts and sheer will power.

This time there is something different about the journey; there is something big and new in the river as they count the structures that span the wide water. Here, between the eighth and formerly ninth spans, counting upstream from the Big River, is a different kind of span over the water. This span has 12 legs, 2 groups of 6 on each side of the river. These are fun to swim through! But the best part is the two soaring towers above the legs, and the long cables like webbing hung from the towers. And the lights; this span glows and shimmers above the water!

The ancient fish of the salmon nation smile as they pass under the new bridge. They are happy. They sing an old song taught down the generations, a chant to signify the approach of their journey's end that is picked up by all of the travelers. High above the water, on the new bridge that is quiet because there are no motor vehicles, the humans hear the ancient song of the salmon, the rhythmic chanting from a time long gone.

And the humans smile, knowing that they are on Salmon Chanting Bridge.
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