Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Tidal Marsh Meditation

I am the newest member of Beczak’s education department. I applied for a position here because I was interested in hands-on environmental education, but I did not know much about the Center apart from what I read at its website.

My first days at work were spent inside and at schools. It was not until I went down to the beach looking for water chestnuts that I realized just how serene and special Beczak’s marsh and the waterfront are.

I was standing at the marsh’s edge when it hit me that I was listening to birdcalls and waves crashing and very little of anything else. Maybe it was just the time of day that I was out there, or just a freak occurrence that no planes, boats or trains were passing by, but I realized I had never experienced more serenity anywhere in Yonkers than at Beczak’s riverfront. I glanced across the water to the Palisades and looked as far up and down the river as I could. A sense of peace and well-being enveloped me.

I have lived in Yonkers for about six years now and have heard all sorts of rumors about the dangers that lurk in downtown Yonkers. I have even been warned of working in the polluted Hudson River in such an urban environment. However at that moment, looking out at the water and the surrounding non-developed land, I was thrilled to be right there, right then. I was impressed with the transformation of the river from the polluted waters it once was to the crisp, enjoyable scene that lay before me. It is heartening that amidst all the development there could be such a place as our tidal marsh where people can enjoy and learn about this amazing river.

This experience opened my eyes to the joys of Beczak, the tranquility of the Hudson River and the promise that Yonkers holds. If a river of this magnitude could change so dramatically at the insistence of a small group of people, imagine what could happen to the city of Yonkers with the increasing influence of Beczak and its community of river-lovers. This is one more transformation I cannot wait to be a part of.

Susan Juggernauth