Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Why we need a creek

If there is magic on the planet, it is contained in the water.
- Loren Eisley

So, in all of our musings about what kind of house we might want or where we might want to get some land, the boys and I have held fast to one small prayer request:

“God, wherever you lead us, please give us a good climbing tree.”

Our appeal is pure and simple. We just want to climb. And perch. And gaze at the clouds through the leaves. And daydream. A tree fit to hold a house or fort would be an abundant gift. And two trees in close proximity that would allow for the hanging of a hammock—paradise!

Well, today, the boys and I came up with one more request, if we might be so bold.

“One more thing, God… a creek would be fantastic!”

It started with our visits to various natural areas. The draw to the water was undeniable. And the need to throw things into said water, irresistible. I began to realize that if my boys could just have access to water, they might never ask to watch television again. It has now become one of my requirements for where we settle down.

Today, we tried to satisfy our hunger for a water source by going to the park near my parent’s house. This is the same park where we had our awesome sledding adventures earlier in the year. It’s a wonderful park, with a great playground, lots of open fields, a winding path throughout, and a “creek.” I use the term loosely, since it is mainly a large storm drain that is fed by the surrounding neighborhood’s gutters. But I believe that, originally, there was some natural flowing of water that took place near and around the existing “creek.” To my boys in their current suburban setting, however, it is definitely a creek. And when you climb down among the bushes and rocks and flowing water and block the nearby houses from your view, you can imagine that you our smack dab in the middle of Mark Twain National Forest. That’s what we did this afternoon.

This is what we observed:

*Newly arrived Catbirds drinking from little pools of water

*Large boulders and smaller rocks in the creek bed, chock full of fossils

*A mama squirrel carrying a baby in her mouth in order to relocate her to a new nest

*A Red Tailed Hawk land on a tree just above the above mentioned squirrel nest strategizing how to steal that new baby squirrel (the mama squirrel was able to keep the hawk at bay)

*A daddy cardinal singing his heart out—the boys have now learned his song by heart and can recognize it just by hearing it

*That creek water in the middle of April is very cold—but it is still worth it to “accidentally” slip your foot into the water so that you can just take your shoes off and get wet with abandon

It was a good day.

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