I wrote this last summer as I was taking in the views of the Hudson River just north of New York City. It was a descriptive writing exercise. I’d appreciate your thoughts.
A majestic brick manor sits high on the banks of the Hudson River at the Tappan Zee – the broad river expanse – miles across – which spreads the Hudson like a lake – wide and proud commanding the sight line of all who stand above it. The house is red brick, with white, oak trimmed windows and porches – the river-facing porch upheld magnificently by two solid pillars of oak, round and smooth – near obelisk-like, except for the shingled roof which connected the two with a wide, angled canopy. Three stories with enough rooms to hold many stories of their own, the mansion is nestled between assorted fruit and hardwood which shields it enough from the wind but still affords it a splendid view of the water below. Four chimneys reach high from the four corners of the house reminding one of intimate talks and treasured moments on the bearskin rugs beside the crackling embers.
Over the bank, on the cusp of the river sits a white, wooden gazebo, intricately carved, replete with matching white benches attached directly onto the sides, slotted with smooth, rounded spindles spun meticulously on the lathe of a splendidly skilled carpenter.
The gazebo sits on the edge of a long wooden dock which juts straight out into the pale, stagnant rim of the river. The dock affords a lovely spot for a picnic lunch, a short paddle excursion to the beach or a place exquisitely designed for pondering the remarkable beauty of the Hudson River Valley.
If a certain writer with a penchant for pondering would sit, feet dangling, pen and paper in hand, waiting for the muse to come, what would he see?
A vast, sparkling sea, slow moving, half glittering with shiny shards of light flickering quickly back and forth. A darker, shadowed portion, water exposed to the shielding of the hill behind it which covers its light from the early morning sun. A single boater, paddling long and swiftly, leaving a lonely line on the smooth canvass, not unlike that of a jet leaving its mark across the blue empty sky. A swift moving train, clinging to the distance shore, moving steady and quick, like a row of ants, purposeful, pushing, a slow moving bullet in a straight line, barely above the shimmering reflection of the water, almost as if it too is gliding on the water like a chain of floating boxes.
An expanse above in sky blue. An expanse below in jittering light – dark and bright. A forested hill in the distance separating the two.
This is life on the Hudson.