I Don’t Have a River, But I Do Have a Puddle

With the warmer weather and sunshine today, I have so much nostalgia for Saturdays spent on the banks of the Potomac river. When I was my daughter’s age, I would run out to the river at the crack of dawn and not return until dusk. Caked in mud and covered with poison ivy, I spent more time by the river than in my house.

My friend Marie and I–even though we were just about teenagers and certainly insecure about everything–transformed into Tom and Huck and built forts and rafts. We climbed trees and swung on vines. We balanced our way over fallen logs as we searched for turtles and frogs. We fished all afternoon. We’d come back to my mother soaked, exhausted, and so happy.

I find myself so sad that my daughters aren’t growing up on the banks of a river. How will they experience nature–I mean really experience it–and have that kind of wonder and joy?

My daughter and her friend romp about the yard today and eventually find their way to the giant puddle that they’ve named their skating pond. It’s melting, so they spend the afternoon examining the cracking ice. They poke and prod with sticks and devise some grand game. I only hear about it because I’m inside the house. They return to me soaked, exhausted, and so happy.

Just like I did.

It occurs to me that I don’t have a river, but I do have a puddle. Living with flair means the puddle is enough.

Don’t you miss the creek?


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2 thoughts on “I Don’t Have a River, But I Do Have a Puddle

  1. I was four when my family moved to a house without puddle or creek but I still remember the wonder of the tiny “stream” created by the rain running off the roof edge onto the ground. I could see what was under the grass! The tiny stones and dirt were wondrous. I remember having a little bridge created for a fish bowl that I would carefully place across that stream for little stick people.

  2. Where I grew up, there was a creek behind my house. My whole childhood revolved around that creek. Fishing, swimming, ice skating, almost drowning, shooting model boats with a BB gun – it was awesome. Today, I still find myself in creeks, sometimes just to lie in them and let the water flow around me on a hot day, when I'm riding my bike. I do miss the times I had with friends as a kid, sharing the creek. In my fifties now – people think it's kind of strange, but I wonder why they don't dive in. The creek will always be a part of me.

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