Growing up in Los Angeles, I heard about the “great rivers of the world” with my only frame of reference being my understanding of the Pacific Ocean. No one talked about the “great Pacific,” so I always imagined the great rivers, while obviously not challenging the size of the Pacific, certainly challenging the grandeur.
I was lucky enough to visit the Nile River when I was 15. It was big, of course, and long as all get out, but ultimately it was a little underwhelming. After all, it was just a river.
Years later, I moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, which is the first major city through which the Mississippi River flows. As we’re only a few hundred miles from the headwaters, the Mississippi is small, but its presence is so powerful.
I would have loved to have had some connection to the Mississippi River or the Nile growing up. I Wish I Had a River is my attempt to give that to others.