The La Salle River lazily winds its way through our colony. I always find it interesting that our colony was named after the Elm River, a mile and a half south of our place and not the La Salle, which is right here. Could there have been some confusion about the names? Or perhaps the French name wasn't as appealing.
In any case, for the most part it's a beautiful river, except for the huge patches of reeds and cattails, in places, that nearly choke off it's flow and algae littering it in late summer. At times a family of ducks spends most of the day here. At night, lightning bugs are sometimes seen using the river as a dance floor. I have many fond childhood memories of playing in this river, or floating on it in a boat on care-free summer days. In winter it would be our skating rink or we'd slide on to it from the hill right beside it. I'm reminded of a beautiful children's book, written by a fellow Hutterite, Herman Stahl, and illustrated by his lovely and talented wife, Cynthia: "Flowing Through the Seasons".
Today, I enjoy walking along the La Salle in the evening, especially when everything around it is a lush green, bursting with life. Serenity at its best - makes me want to sing, or hear 'Abide With Me.' I dream about someone standing beside the river, perhaps under that old elm tree, playing this song on bag-pipes. I love the beautiful, haunting sounds of bagpipes! Sadly, it's very rare to hear them live... maybe my next Europe trip should include Scotland.
I invite you to turn on the music below, rest your eyes on the serene La Salle and the shiny reflections, imagine that it's just before sunset - stay a while at this peaceful place and dream with me... Abide with me, fast falls the eventide. The darkness deepens, Lord with me abide... Aaahhh, Heavenly!