There is a creek that runs through our property. It is where my kids are now, playing in the mud, building forts and splashing in the water. You can find the best mud cakes with purple and yellow flowers in town, the most beautiful ice sculpture store in the wintertime and the lovliest accomodations for a creekside mud hotel. There are the beginnings of a child-built treehouse in the woods, a magical pine forest fairy picnic area, and a 'lemonade' stand for when you get really tired. There is even a bartering system for supplies: one scoopful of clay equals three tree branches, four sheets of birch bark can be traded for 6 creek rocks and one treasured piece of broken glass with soft edges can be yours for a really heavy log (labor included).
This is where my children work together to create the magic of their childhood. This is also where they learn the plants to harvest, the food to forage and the animal bones to identify. It is where we go mushroom hunting, berry picking and sparkly rock collecting. This is the spot where endless conversations take place over a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a quart of raw milk under pine forest haven, sitting on top of the dried needles that are just soft enough to stretch out on. The creek is where we float in our raft, squish our toes in the mud while picking watercress and dunk our heads in on really hot days. It is where we keep our drinks cold on hikes and where we go when we need some peace. It also home to one of the best trout streams around and many days during fishing season, we may find a stray fisherperson enjoying the creek, as well.
In the winter, we ice 'skate' on the off shoots of the creek. We collect ice sculptures and listen to the mini waterfalls that the pockets of snow have created after the freeze. We build forts and castles and make rock bridges to cross into the woods. We hike home for hot chocolate and a book by the woodstove while our snowpants hang on the indoor clothesline to dry out.
This area is not where our roots are, but I sometimes wish it was. This simple life that I could never imagine leaving. The creek, the memories that we are creating, the community around us, the immense possibilities that the future holds for us. The fog this valley carries so early in the morning. I am blessed my children know this. I am blessed I know this, even if it took 45 years to get here. That creek has stories to tell and will be here long after we move on. It will give other's memories and stories, as well. In this bigger picture, Nederlo creek will outlive us all and we are just visitors in this small moment in time. One moment that I am truly grateful to be a part of.