Driving along the Creek Turnpike just south of Tulsa I noticed that Polecat Creek looked a little dry. I wondered why I always notice Polecat Creek, and I think it's because it's wide and reminds me of the creek near my grandmother's house.
I have fond memories of my grandmother taking me and my brothers to play in the creek near her home on a hot summer's day.
What a different time.
We knew there were snakes so we had to watch out for snakes. We knew the rocks could be jagged and slippery so we wore old tennis shoes. Neither prevented us from taking a dip. Even though we lived in town with a very nice concrete swimming pool (fond memories of that, too), we always preferred visiting our grandparents in the country.
I wonder how much my fascination with bodies of water stems from these childhood experiences.
I've always loved rivers, lakes, and creeks but never cared for ponds and oceans all that much. Granted, looking at the ocean and listening to the sounds of the waves crashing on the shore often leaves me awestruck. Sipping my morning coffee while listening to the dolphins just before sunrise was one of the best parts of my trip to Kauai last year.
Nevertheless, when I think about my dream house and where I will live someday (when I grow up), I always picture a piece of land with pasture, forest, lake, and a creek. And, of course, there is a river nearby.
I grew up in towns along the Mississippi River, so when I picture a river, my vision is pretty large. If you've never boated on the Mississippi or sat on a park bench on top of a bluff overlooking it, you might not feel the same warmth that I do when someone refers to "Old Man River." I even get chills everytime I hear "Moon River."
Even now sitting on my front porch in my Oklahoma country cabin, I can see the majestic river from those bluffs in Northern Missouri and it makes me smile.
The movement of the water in rivers and creeks energizes me. I like to think we're kindred, always moving, always heading towards our purpose. We're bending and adapting to resistance we might meet, but willfully determined in our forward progress.
I like the quiet gentleness of the lake. As I get older I am aware that I need more time for stillness and quiet reflection. Even so, as I turn 50 this year, I can't imagine settling down very much.
If I were a body of water, I'm pretty sure I'd be a river.