There’s just something about a creek…or, if you’re from the South or small town Indiana like my Gramma, a crick.
We had one of these magical places behind my house growing up. It was home to a huge rock, a towering sand cliff, and more horsetail reeds than a kid could possibly make into pretend salads. We hunted frogs, fish, and imaginative respite.
It was my home outside my home. So when, as an adult, I saw a creek meandering behind a beautiful house, my heart fell in love…despite the fact my husband and I were planning to move elsewhere at the time.
Weed clogged and dirty, this creek was basically run-off from all the neighbors’ yards complete with resident frogs and occasional fish. The fact that I was enormously pregnant didn’t stop me from weed-whacking the entire backyard and meticulously laying out newspaper to stop the weeds from coming back up. I still don’t know how I did it. I could barely touch my toes.
In the 8 years since we moved, our creek has filled in a bit and the frogs have moved out. My kids don’t seem quite as interested and I don’t know which came first—the disinterest or my neglect of it.
However I’m beginning to suspect that my decision to not attack the weeds and debris in our creek had a lot to do with the disinterest.
There’s reasons. Good ones. But not good enough ones.
It took one afternoon to confirm that my kids (and I) might still need that creek.
My son and I were waiting, only semi-patiently, at the park for my girl to finish soccer practice. I was prepared for complaints and pleading for an electronic device. I’d brought the tablet because I honestly wasn’t sure I could survive otherwise.
Imagine my surprise when the dude spotted a creek and the plans suddenly changed. Slow-moving at the bottom of a ditch ran a stream complete with two bridges and a perfect set-up for Pooh sticks.
For anyone unfamiliar with the loveable bear’s pastime, basically, you find a bridge over water, drop a stick into said water, and watch what happens. Complicated right? But the beauty is in the simplicity. My son, of course, turned it into a death-defying race to the second bridge finish line.
The game kept us both busy and laughing for the ENTIRE hour-and-a-half-long practice. Rushing from one bridge to the other through cricket filled weeds, my dude would drop a stick or two in and follow its progress, helping the branch along when it got stuck in the overhanging grass.
Soon we were joined by a collection of other kids playing in the water and rocks. I stood laughing at their antics, helping them carefully select the perfect stick—would leaves help or only get caught more easily? Maybe smaller sticks would navigate the narrows better?
What could have been 90 minutes of torture for both my son and I, turned into a lovely afternoon jaunt.
Who knew a creek held the secret to redemption? The moment when one dark thing becomes something else entirely. Tweet This
Perhaps it’s time to redeem my little stream—this place of magical stillness—if for no one other than me. So if you see me in my grubbies, toting a weed whacker and shovel, you’ll know what I’m up to. I’m bailing on all the stuff I should be doing and making way for my little piece of heaven.