Friday, July 1, 2011

A Bend in the Creek

I sit on a metal bench, a folded up picnic blanket cushioning my almost-forty tailbone. I’m facing our favorite bend in Nine Mile Creek. Not that we’ve explored all nine miles of the creek, but there’s something magical about this little spot where the laughing water meanders almost 180 degrees around a child-sized beach. The jutting sandbar shelters a kidney-shaped pool, maybe a foot or so deep, with a slow current, sandy bottom and crystal clear water. It’s the perfect place to wade, or in my daughter’s case, completely submerge. My little water sprite.

The kids are playing there now. Their splashing and talking are absorbed by the sounds around us, blending in as if just as natural, as one with the creek, rolling and gurgling over the stones and rushing around the outer bank of the bend, as one with the birds and the gentle breeze. A train whistle, surprisingly close, reminds me we are still in the city. But even that seems right, a haunting contribution to nature’s symphony.

The sun is bright, but kind at this hour, and the bench and little pool are generously shaded by trees and shrubs. Hundreds of tiny puffs of cotton drift through the air like delicate snow. I watch as they slowly, gently land in the water and then are instantly whisked away by the current.

Dozens of black-winged dragonflies congregate in the vegetation across the stream, flitting and darting in the breeze. They make forays, individually, to my side of the water, landing in the grass and opening their quadruple wings, momentarily basking in the warm sun before zipping back into the welcoming shade.

Occasionally a mosquito or other pesky insect buzzes by my ear—the only imperfection in this idyllic scene, and this only a minor one.

For a long moment, everything is beautiful. I don’t even have the desire to write or read. My phone seems badly out of place. Nothing I brought to pass the time can compete with this.

I breathe it in. Drink it. Absorb it.

And I am grateful.


  1. Enjoying the present moment is *always* wonderful; and that small-yet-perfect child-size beach looks incredibly inviting. The pictures are terrific!

  2. Thanks, Stef. It really is a wonderful spot. It's at Moir Park in Bloomington (same spelling as our Moir--probably a relative somewhere up the line :) I highly recommend exploring this place :)

  3. Wish I was there, but alas I was visiting with your mom and dad. That was a wonderful blessing as well. Enjoy these moments! Soak them in. In a flash all too quickly they will be but memories of a time gone by that you can't get back except in your memories or dreams.