Friday, July 23, 2010
KIDS AND CREEKS
The first set of grandkids visiting Grammy and Grandpa just left, with two more sets yet to come. As the grandchildren get a little older, I've started to be concerned that they might find country life, in comparison to their busy suburban environments, well...booooorrring. After all, we're not within easy reach of some of their favorite things, like multiplexes, IHOP, Target, bounce palaces, etc., etc.
Turns out that when you introduce them to a creek, kids are still kids! Our farm is bordered by two creeks, Scotch Run and Catawissa Creek. For years we've had a nice swimming hole, about waist deep, behind the barn where the run joins the bigger creek. We even have a sandy bank, thanks to the deposits left behind by a few floods.
Apparently the appeal of catching minnows and salamanders is eternal. We caught and released a few hundred minnows this week, no doubt leaving them all with strange tales to tell all the other little minnows. The salamander our grandson caught was the prize of the collection. He wanted to save it to show his father, but the salamander, maybe wise in the way of small boys, made his escape from the bucket during the night.
Bjoern's method of catching wildlife involved stalking them carefully, letting them swim right up to his motionless hand before closing it. Greta is more of a pounce and grab artist, resulting in a lot of splashing.
When they got tired of bending over searching for minnows, they could jump back into the swimming hole to cool off. It's just wide enough for two kids to race side by side, discovering that they can go much faster with the current than against. Grandpa taught them the fine art of stone-skipping, while I showed them how to make body paint by rubbing two pieces of red shale against each other.
And when I wasn't busy admiring the latest catch or how high someone could jump off a rock, I had time to sit, listen to the gurgle of the stream, count the number of wildflowers along the bank, and find peace creeping into me, as it always does when I stop my busyness long enough to enjoy God's creation.
May you have many such moments this summer.