Cold wet rain, unusual for the month that gives us the chilliest days of winter. I’m living on a bluff above the Scioto, the waterway that splits the State and runs down to the big river that gives the region it’s name. Almost every drop that hits my shelter wanders down to the bottom of a series of basins and eventually pours into the Gulf of Mexico. How strange it makes me feel living on the ground that Native Americans slept as recently as 200 years ago. Then, there was no electricity and the best means of transportation was canoe down the rivers: canoeing up the rivers had to be a bitch of a job. Back in their day the region was forest and ancient animals ran the wild landscape. I could only imagine that the most intelligent and daring natives coasted down the waterway to warmer hunting grounds.
I know that Shawnee defended themselves on a stream just one hill over to the east because their buried artifact were discovered and halted a bridge construction project for a year. That’s when I started imagining how they lived and must have appreciated their sunrises without buildings blocking their view. As recently as the early 1900’s cows and farmers covered land that had been stripped of it’s majestic oak trees. Cars and horse driven wagons had replaced the canoe.
Today i’m fortunate to live above the ground in a modest habitat i call tree house manor. The trees were all planned by the developers. The new oaks and maples and spruce tree reach as high as forty feet. In the summer one can barely see the neighbors back doors …. but you know they are there. Very few of the new inhabitants have had their heads split by war clubs or had to run to the emergency room with an arrow or spear lodge in their backs. Last summer there was a machine gun shooting on Interstate 71 just to the northeast of here on the way to Cleveland.
The savages have been replaced by gangsters and cops that shoot kids for looking suspicious.