February 24, 2020

Breathing at the Bottom of a Lake

One of my earliest memories is riding through a quiet town called Keetley with my parents. "We're driving through the bottom of a lake right now!" my dad told me. Keetley was doomed to wind up beneath Jordanelle Reservoir once the dam was finished.

As an adult, I commuted past Jordanelle every day for years. Looking at its quiet surface felt like staring at a watery grave, knowing my childhood was at the bottom. I don't know why it felt so eerie to remember my four-year-old self seat-belted into a car driving through the hidden canyons below.

David Almond's THE DAM captures that ghostly feeling of watching history get buried while the future becomes something else beautiful. It's one of my favorite picture books in recent years. Read it! Especially if some places from your childhood have died and become something new.

1 comment:

Christine Merrill said...

I actually have similar mixed feelings when I drive past Jordanelle. Glad for the things that make our lives easier, sad for the memories of things that were lost underneath....I'd always thought I was a bit of a sentimental fool in that regard. Guess there's a reason we're friends :)