Thursday, July 20, 2017

i dare you


I stole this most excellent graphic from my friend Sarah Hope's new blog, in which she dares herself and all the rest of you humans to do things that might make you see/feel/experience life a little differently.  A few weeks ago, she dared us to put our feet in the mud. For some, I know this is crossing a boundary of sorts, but for me, that's just another day in the woods. I didn't think it was that big of a deal, really.

But I decided to do it anyway.  Not knowing where, exactly to find mud in the middle of July, I decided that there must be some down by Cheyenne Creek, a short walk out my back door.

After a bit of searching, I found the perfect creekside rock, set my composition book down, removed my Chaco sandals, and sank my feet into the water. Ooooohhh. Already, I was thanking Sarah in my mind.

At the bottom, about nine inches down, my feet touched not mud, but coarse granite sand, a natural foot massager if ever there was one.  My gratitude for Sarah's dare grew bigger.  It felt so good I decided to take a walk upstream.  I probably ventured only about 30 yards before turning around, but taking steps barefoot in creeks is such a calculated, mindful experience, it felt like an epic journey.  Plus - it was a whole new world in there! There was a hiking path on one side of me, and a road on the other, but under the canopy of the trees and with the rippling sounds of the water, they disappeared. Then I remembered creek hiking at Camp Kilowan every summer!  Then I started singing:  "Kilowan, Kilowan, your maidens have gathered...."! Then I remembered fairy boats! Then I wanted to bring everyone I knew on a creek hike! I still do!  I have no idea how if it would work (the creek's pretty narrow), but if anyone wants to come with me, I dare you.






(Unfortunately, my phone died just as I was taking it out to get some photos.  I was angry for about two seconds, and then figured it was actually kind of a gift.  No one knew where I was, and there was no way for them to reach me.  I found this to be an extremely pleasing circumstance. Anyway, here's a photo of Cheyenne Creek from the internets)










I finally returned to my rock and grabbed my composition book.  Here is what I wrote:

The water 
will almost always flow 
faster than your stride --  
get used to it.

Pine cone canoes 
navigate the rapids
by not navigating. 
submerge
resurface
flounder
snag

Will you will recognize 
in yourself 
the false prophet 
if you stay too long 
in one place?

The key is to connect 
and disconnect 
in a cycle prescribed by 
the cottonwood leaf

Thank you, Sarah.  For the memories, new and old.


2 comments:

suesun said...

The songs I sang at that camp became the lullabies I sang to my children. It was an all-girls Campfire Girls camp. The memories I have from there are beyond sacred. I cannot even imagine being who I am today without Camp Kilowan.

Barb Ferrill Van Hoy said...

I love this! Beautiful poem. I'd love to go creek hiking with you!
-Barb