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The River Never Ceases:
“Right after the lock, they went around an easy bend in the river and came to a massive power plant. While Noah pointed out the four smokestacks belching white smoke into the air, Becca was more impressed by the number of barges of coal that were being unloaded by gigantic scoops onto conveyor belts that lead straight into the power plant. They both stared in awe as the last barge of a twenty barge tow was emptied and a towboat began to move it out of the way so that another, bigger towboat could come in with another tow to be emptied by the scoops. Noah wondered if this choreographed dance of consumption ever ceased, but the massive flood lights around the control tower indicated that it didn’t – this was a twenty four hour operation.
Later, they sat on the bluff and watched the river flow past. As they cuddled together, Becca said softly, “Are you as happy as I am right now, Noah?”
“Yeah, I think I am. And that makes me feel guilty. I’m not sure I deserve to be happy, so I’ve struggled with what has been happening lately. I spent some time in the canoe today thinking about it all, but I’m not going to try to figure it out or defend it anymore. The fact is, I’m excited beyond words to be doing something like this with you. The river isn’t very pretty through this stretch, but I don’t care because I’m with you. Today was a boring and dull day, but I enjoyed myself.”
“Boring and dull? I wouldn’t say that! The river valley twisted this way and that way, and there were pretty little towns far up in them hills that looked down on the river like spiders in their webs. But seeing all them factories and industry that they’ve got on this river made me think about how badly we’ve messed up God’s work. No wonder He is so mad with us and punishes us so frequently. We humans have taken His beautiful world and turned it into an avenue of our own greed and carelessness. After seeing what we saw today, I even wondered if mankind’s been wicked enough to deserve to be punished again.”