Growing up on the farm meant spending a lot of time outdoors. A favorite place to explore and do the work of children was at the creek. Elm Creek runs just an easy walk down the gravel road from the house.
My sisters and I spent time there in every season.
Sometimes we would find the creek bed all dried up. We hunted for fossils and bones and looked for signs of creek life.
Sometimes the water was covered with ice and snow. We dug through the snow with sticks and broke the ice with rocks.
Sometimes the water flowed freely and the sound was so gentle and peaceful. We just stretched out on a big slab of rock and soaked up the sun and the silence.
Occasionally, after heavy rains, the water ran high and fast. I feared the creek on those days, and kept my distance.
Our friends loved the creek too, joining us on our hikes, enjoying the pampering of a picnic, wading in the cool water, and skipping rocks. If the water was low enough we leaped across, back and forth. (We would often return home with a muddy foot or two!)
The name of this special place changed for me after a very memorable father-daughter moment in the late 70s. On that rainy day, Daddy and I stood together in the rising creek. I was scared of the water. But Daddy beckoned me to trust him there. He gave me an opportunity to overcome a fear.
He reached out and held my hand that day, and all my fear was washed away. In its place came joy and dancing and laughter.
In my heart this old familiar Elm Creek was a new place. I called it Wash Creek.
That day I believed I would be able to accomplish just about anything. Some of those things would be hard and feel dangerous. Some of those things I would not completely understand. But I would not have to be afraid to step out and try. That memorable day I was filled with confidence, joy, and trust.
You can find more information about this book and others on my website www.shellysimoneaustories.com and my page http://www.facebook.com/ShellySimoneauStories. I would love to hear from you!
Joy and Laughter,
P.S. Many times over the course of my childhood I recall my parents turning around at the creek. Why? Because the water was not safe to cross. I was able to trust Daddy that day because he had proven his wisdom in his previous actions. Be safe. Turn around. Don’t drown.