What a fabulously fun day. What a perfectly country living kind of moment. A girl, some rubber boots, a creek, and some cows for an audience. What a wonderful time to wade around, and experience a little slice of nature. You go girl! The whole time, Kenna kept saying, "Hey cows! Watch me!" or "look at me cows! Come on!" Gosh darn it, folks....I love this kid!
As I have spoken of before, our family has a Century Farm. I lived there from the time I was seven, until I left for college. Even, then I was home for summer and the breaks. I moved 1.5 hours away in 1996, when I got married. On average I visit my parents there at least once a month. Nothing is better than going back to the fresh air, and wonderful childhood memories.
One particular summer memory from my childhood greatly involves this creek. You see, this creek runs through the farm. It twists and turns it's way down the mountain, through the fields, and finally spilling into the slow moving river. In most places, the creek is shallow, and fairly fast moving. However, in some rare points where the creek takes a wide turn, or the beavers have built a dam, there are pools of water usually no more than 4 feet deep. The rocks are slippery, the water is COLD, and the creatures that call it their home are plentiful.
Several summers during my pre-teen years, my cousin Dan from the Big City, would come spend a few weeks on The Farm. We are three weeks apart in age (My being older USED to be a good thing, tee hee), and as children we got along famously. He was the listener, and I was the talker. He was the city kid, and I was the farm girl. He was....well...a HE, and I was a SHE, but all of that didn't matter. We could play all day for weeks, and I hardly recall a moment of disagreement. One of our favorite summer past times was exploring the creek. We would disappear down to the creek for what seemed like all day, but my mom insists it couldn't have been more than 4 hours. I still think I am correct, as I remember it like it was yesterday. We would head either up or down the creek, pretending to be back in the "olden times". Often we were Lewis and Clark, yet others we were Indians. We would each find a walking stick, and trudge our way through the waters. It was always a challenge. There were many slips and falls, yet we were never really hurt. (As a parent, I often wonder how my mom let us go there alone, but....I digress!)
We saw fish, deer, and lots of wild and crazy cows. tee hee...well it is a cow farm, you know. I don't recall ever seeing a beaver, but we surely made more work for those poor little suckers. There is nothing more thrilling than destroying a beaver dam, and watching the water rush over the rocks in search of the river. Thinking back now...I wonder why those silly beavers built there. It wasn't their "home", as it was always a simple dam barely a foot thick built of sticks and blackberry vines. Maybe they just wanted a swimming hole, or maybe they were just bored, I don't know...but it sure felt powerful to tear it apart, and let the water loose. I am sure they were hiding in the bushes watching us...and cursing our names. Poor Beavers.
Looking back at the hours, days.....weeks I spent in that creek, I recall it with much fondness. I was outside, experiencing, learning, exercising, and having fun. I wasn't inside playing video games, or watching TV. I was in the REAL world learning much about it, and in the long run learning much about ME! As a parent, I am constantly trying to bring such moments into my daughters life. I want her not just get though her day, but to really experience her day. I want her to not just let the world go by outside, as she wanders aimlessly around inside. I don't want to her to sit and wait for the world to entertain her. I want her to use the world around her to entertain herself. The possibilities are endless.