The small creek that ran by my childhood home was where I experienced many of life’s first lessons. When I was younger, around the age of six, I frequently spent most of my time there – learning to fish, catching crawdads, and sometimes even riding my bicycle into it. The creek was rather small and about three feet deep in spots. Sharp jagged white stones were common, peeking out above the cool clear water almost looking like a large white glacier of ice. Least, that’s what it seemed to me as a young boy. I remember going to the creek to reach and grab crawdads before they would scamper off under the heavier stones I could not lift. At the age I was, finding small crawdads were like spotting Bigfoot or the ever elusive Loch Ness Monster. My grandfather taught me how to fish in that stream and after I caught my first fish I was spending almost every day on that creek bank, which was full of lush grass. How often I sat there hoping to catch Moby Dick!
I was at the age when a young child learns to ride a bicycle and remember riding my small bicycle through the stream – the water splashing up from my toes to my knees.
My family always knew where to find me. One evening, I recall, my grandfather had to come retrieve me from the bank to take me home as it was growing close to dark.
As I have grown older, the creek has also grown with me, so to speak. The gentle rolling banks have gone due to construction on a new bridge, the banks are now covered with rock, and it is significantly deeper to more than five feet. While I have grown from a child, I still recall the creek bank, how it was, for me, a calm spot to get away to and disappear.