Friday, February 15, 2008

My River

In Birkerod, Denmark--the town in which I was born--there was a river that passed through. It wasn't a big river, and the water level certainly would not have high enough to sustain a yellow submarine, but I was not at all too proud to call it "my river."

My memories of this are very vague, but back when I was something like 2-3 years old, my mother, my little sister, and I would, almost every day, walk down to the road to my great grandparents who lived on a farm, most of which had been converted into leased factory space and, later, a kindergarten. When we arrived, my great grandmother would usually boil an egg for me. On the way, we could see the river. Somewhere--whether it was at home or at the homes of relatives--I was apparently exposed frequently to the classical piece The Moldau, composed by the Czech composer Bedrich Smetana. When this song was played, I am told, I would say that it was about "my river." The piece, by the way, is about the Czech river Vlatana (Moldau is the German word), and the composer intended to incorporate the sounds of the river into the composition.

To this day, I always have a special feeling when I hear the composition about my river. I have fond memories of listening to this piece frequently when I woke up to the morning program of Dennis Owen at WGMS in Washington, D.C. during my years at the University of Maryland and The George Washington University.

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