Updated: May 1, 2018
I was once a small stream, trickling through a southbound river valley. The land was quieter then; no dogs barking, old homes creaking, nary a ripple on my surface but by the flow of my own agency. Then there came a frost, fierce ice with the power to level mountains beneath it, charging with silent destruction to rip me from my riverbeds. It crept slowly, inching its frozen tendrils ever closer, until at last it swept over me. With this glacier came the threat that I would be spread thin and weak — for it dug at my shoreline with scouring forces of earthly energy, sweeping bedrock out from under me like carpet beneath my feet. It chiseled away at my valley, sculpted the hills around me, gave birth to cascading waterfalls and silent ponds. This ice had the power to destroy. But it could also transform.
When the frozen crust melted away, I discovered the metamorphosis. My waters were scores deep, my shores miles apart. To my east and west lay my sisters, shaped in similar form, surrounded by dense forests and whistling valleys. I was a scar born new of the earth. Since then, my ten sisters and I have seen blossoming wildlife, witnessed the stonework constructions of the aboriginals and the peace inherited by our native peoples. Then came the Old World explorers, the trades and the wars, and our earthly walls underwent another transformation throughout those following centuries. Through trials of nature and man we have endured.
The Iroquois called me “Canoe Landing”. The Seneca call me “Lake with an Elbow”.
I was once the small stream. Now, I am the mighty Keuka.