Monday, November 7, 2016

Creek Magic

The following is a column that I wrote in 1973 about creeks and the magical influence they have on us. 

The Magic of A Creek

     Living in the country, one would tend to lose a sense of appreciation for the common, ordinary creek. Cold and clear running creeks are everyday items in rural life, and no one who had several running across his property would think much of them.
     But, lo and behold, show a city kid a creek, and he would go wild. Even metropolis oriented adults get caught up in the magic of a creek.
     Because that's just what a creek has, magic. To a city dweller conditioned to concrete and sewer drains and gutters, a creek running quietly through the woods is the personification of rural tranquility. Give a city slicker a chance to pull his shoes off and dangle his feet in the chilling waters of a backwoods creek and all kind of soothing psychological phenomena begin.
     It's a trip down memory lane, when every other weekend the kids would go visit Uncle Ned and Aunt Ethel. It's pure and undiluted solitude, time to derail your train of thought and let the mind wander aimlessly through a mirade of nonsense. 
     Most of all, it's an escape from the emotional ravages of the city, the crowded elevators, the polished tile floors, the huge picture windows that you can't open and the mail chutes plummeting through floor after floor in the big city skyscrapers.
     Indeed, it may be difficult for the longtime rural dwellers to understand the significance of a running creek. But they, of course, can appreciate its beauty and restful isolationism.
     That's the meaning of a creek, a crystal clear, cold and refreshing creek, full of smooth round stones and small flat fish. This weekend, take the family to a creek.


Ode to a Creek

Whenever overwhelmed by stress,
I embark upon a quest,
Into the countryside I sneak,
Looking for a tranquil creek.

A creek that runs, a creek that flows, 
Along the forest floor it goes,
A peaceful place, one that's unique,
Is what I sometimes have to seek.

When worries mount, when problems peak,
It's time to stop and seek a creek.
To listen to its trickling sound,
With all the trees and brush around.

To soak in its natural state,
Somehow helps release the weight,
That urban  life ofttimes brings,
Burdens, fears and other things.

Creeks awaken newfound wonder,
Cast a spell we all fall under.
The splashing swirls somehow play,
A tune that holds one in its sway.

Sometimes we feel somehow off course,
Weighed down by an unknown force, 
A country creek might be the cure,
For what you think you must endure.

Unspoiled spot, creekside retreat,
A pleasant place that can't be beat.
Release your dread, lift up your eyes,
Enjoy the peace a creek provides.

So when you're down, head back to where,
You first found rest, you first found care.
No matter how far you may roam, 
The creek awaits your journey home.


Wally, Jim and John Ruff and Henry Beck at right in the Bogue Falaya River at Jim's Beach, 1952.