Puddles provide endless intrigue. Rain boots are made for splashing through them. Rocks are made for throwing into them. Stand still long enough around one and watch birds take baths and tiny creatures crawl in and out.
Creeks deepen the mystery. The Logan Creek of my youth had water in it most of the time so it was the first destination of city siblings’ mad dash into the wilderness after a long car trip. We tossed shoes aside so we could gingerly make our ways in the rippling water to the perfect place to squat to examine the rocks, build pools and dams, and dream up reasons we didn’t stay dry. A highlight of our creek experience was a ‘guided’ tube float to parts unknown! Uncle Jimmy tied the tubes together and maneuvered us around drooping limbs, root wads and shallow spots for a wild ride that ended at a bluff so tall we couldn’t see the top!
During and after a Missouri gully-washer, a creek changes in a flash. Clear tinkling ripples vanish, replaced by opaque rumbling currents bent on destruction. Fear means we keep our distance as we ponder the landscape that will emerge when the torrents end.
As in life. From time to time circumstances muddy our visions, alter the course of intentions, wash away our dreams as we stand helplessly by wondering what will be left when the storms pass. Life calms down, minds clear the way to rebuild or alter direction completely. As fears recede, faith is restored by life that keeps on moving, and fascination with mystery and change resumes.
This first appeared as a column in The Prospect-News, the weekly newspaper in Doniphan, MO.