Musings on Mountain Creeks

When I was little, you couldn’t keep me out of the creek. One ran right down behind the house I grew up in. It was my happy place. I had a big ol’ rock that I sat on during the summer to cool me down. I would dig through the silt looking for mica or crawdaddies. Sometimes I found little treasures: pieces of pottery and shards of colored glass worn smooth. Others, I built dams, creating my own miniature swimming holes. At night, the sound of the rushing water lulled me off to sleep.

Everyone in my house loved that creek. Mamaw had a rough time getting to bed when she wasn’t at home – she missed the sound of the water running down the mountain (a sentiment I share all these years later). She’d go out the backdoor and pick wild mint off its banks… or cross the little bridge to throw corn cobs out to the cattle. Papaw and daddy used it like a cooler. Some days there’d be watermelons bobbing in the cool water, others there’d be a six-pack hidden away from Mamaw’s watchful eyes.

Bug & Belle are city girls. They never had the pleasure of exploring the creek as young’uns. I’ve often felt guilty about that – as if I robbed them of part of their heritage.

I was redeemed on our recent trip home to the Smokies, though. Teenagers or not, my littles ran around barefoot like toddlers looking for treasure and critters in the creeks. Belle fell in, purse and all, while Bug discovered she has an obsession with pretty rocks. 

In those brief moments, they experienced the wonder of mountain creeks, a magic I’ve known my whole life.

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