"Change, when it comes, cracks everything open."
Dorothy Allen

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Creek

I introduced my kids to Chippawa Creek today.

 First things first- it's pronounced Crick- not Creek.  I don't know why, that's just the way it is, the way it has always been.  My dad  grew up beside it, and my grandparents lived near it.  It's always been Chip'wa Crick.  And it always will be.  If you call it a creek (which Geoff sometimes does), I know that you didn't grow up around here, and that you don't really know the area.

The Creek was a big part of my childhood.  I would go fishing down there, or Grassy Brooks.  When my dad had a boat, we would go for rides there.  I would walk my dogs (Princess and Pixon) from my parents house, down to the back road, for walks and swims and hikes.  I swam in the water, jumped off the bridges, picnicked on the banks.  I know the road like the back of my hand. 

So, today, I baptised my kids and my dog in the waters of my childhood.  :)  In an awesomely non religious way. 

We went to the one area, near the bridge.  There were others there, canoeing, fishing, napping.  Sebastian, because of his cast, was set up in a chair, with a blanket spread out in case he wanted to stretch out.  Sawyer and I went to the water's edge.  I went in first, with Axle on the leash, to ease him in.  Within 20 seconds, the dog was in and ready to play.  We found a stick (as opposed to the tree branch Axle wanted to play with) that we could throw and he would fetch, over and over.  I was a little nervous, because some of the boats were coming in really close to shore, and were going really fast.  We kept him close to shore, but he got a chance to leave the bottom and actually swim. 

Sawyer of course wanted in the water.  I know Sawyer.  She would be in for about 10 seconds before she fell over and got completely soaked. But, I felt it was important somehow for her to be in.  So, off came the boots and in the water she went.  She was good, respectful of the water.  She squished her toes, and kicked the rocks.  She touched with her hands.  My pretty girl closed her eyes and stood with her toes in the water, and the sun on her face.  I asked her if she liked it.

"Yes mommy.  I like the water.  I feel like a butterfly."

:)  I don't know why it was a butterfly.  But I didn't care.  She was being introduced to it.  She was feeling it and getting it.

After I lifted her out, I turned around and Sebastian was standing there.  I was nervous that he was scared that we had walked away (still in eyeshot, just about 10 feet away), but he wasn't.  He was grinning.  "I want the water too, mommy."  My poor boy, he couldn't get in the water.  But I dribbled the water on his legs, and his hands and arms. 

We threw the stick and let the dog shake off the water.  Sawyer roamed and wandered.  She found the rainforest (how she knows that word, I have no idea.  My best guess is Diego and Dora.) and so many "treasures" (rocks, sticks, a golden leaf and an old broken lighter.) 

We got windblown, and both kids peed in the bush (well, beside it).  Axle ran and played, until he was calm and satisfied.  There was sun on our cheeks and our shoulders.  Sebastian has freckles and Sawyer has apple-bloom on hers.

They loved it.  Sebastian asked to come home once.  I told him it was enough, and to not do that anymore.  And he didn't.  We chased butterflies.  Axle saw another dog, but just raised his head, looked.  He heaved a sigh, then rolled over and stretched out again. 

I was really happy myself.  I knew the smells that I was smelling.  I knew the sights, the sounds.  I was there, when I was 5, 15, 25, 35.  My son, my daughter, my dog...they were all there with me.  We felt the energy of the trees, and the water, and the people around us.  We were present in the moment. 

We are going to have to do that again.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "natural inclination."

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