There are no “rivers” proper in the part of Southern California where I grew up. Perhaps that’s why I’m so drawn to water. Or maybe it’s just part of the human condition? I can imagine an evolutionary benefit to being drawn to water. Whatever. Wherever I am, I end up walking to the water, along it, looking up it and down it, trying to understand where it’s coming from and going to.
In his London: A Social History, Roy Porter explains that London’s was founded at its particular spot along the Thames because it was the closest place to the sea along the big tidal river where there was good access to the river banks, the first gravel beds where boats could easily land and people could cross. And of course water to drink, and fish in, and dump waste in, though it was some time before the region’s inhabitants sorted out the uncomfortable incompatibility of the various uses to which they were putting the river. It is ever thus.
Lissa and I are off have a look for ourselves. As time permits, I’ll report back what I find.