Thursday, June 26, 2008

It Wasn't a Mirage...

Wednesday morning, I took Mabel for a quickie hike around 7:45, wanting to get back home and run some errands. I made a loop down to dirty creek on the south side of the valley and looped back toward the levy, thinking Mabel would shed some of the mud and dry off a bit before we made it back to the car.

Halfway across the valley, I cocked my head. That sounded like water.

A few more steps and I heard it again. The creek has been a dust bowl since March, the result of too little rain this past winter. There it is again!

I looked to Mabel who is usually well aware of the comings and goings of water in our creek. If there is one last mud puddle in hidden around a bend, Mabel will find it. She showed no signs of recognition.

But now, I hear the high notes! There's water! Girl, the heat must be getting to your brain. There's NO WAY there's water in JUNE!!


Certain last week's 110 + days have fried my brain, I kept looking at Mabel. She did not hear what I heard. I'm going crazy! It's a mirage. It's just a mirage.

Mabel was a good 20 feet ahead of me and at the end of the levy. If there were water, she'd be dashing down the hill. She was chasing a lizard but the thunder of LOTS of water was constant in my head.

As I rounded the levy, I repeated my mantra. It's a mirage. It's just a mirage. Don't be disappointed. It's only in your head.

And there, just 20 feet down the hill beyond my oblivious water-loving dog, was the creek, back in all her glory; in fact, she was virtually flooded. The upper creek had water!

I let out a guttural scream and went racing down the hill. Mabel ran after, still not seeing the water. She thought there was something wrong with me. We were mere feet from the water before she saw where I was running... and why. I reached the water's edge and didn't even pause. We both dashed right in to the upper creek. There was splashing and squealing and barking as we two Piscean girls delighted in our creek.

My emotions are immediately torn: Gratitude for the water and needing to stay and play and explore or leave and go tell all my fellow hiker buddies the big news. Stay & play won out; No one would believe me anyway.

We walked up stream and checked in on the homeless guy we know. He told us the water was there for a film shoot upstream. We walked on upstream, both of us frolicking in the edge of the water. When I ran out of shallow water, Mabel kept going and disappeared around a bend. I scooped up the water and cooled my thighs, arms, face and neck and then found a shady spot where I could still keep my feet in the water.

Mabel returned and off we went downstream, neither of us wanted to leave our precious shoreline. Miss M suddenly realized she couldn't get across the racing water to her favorite stomping grounds and simply turned around and left me for shallower (safer to cross) waters. I continued down to my favorite circle of boulders, climbed on top of one and enjoyed the (much cooler than last week) morning sun and that magic sound rushing by me.

When we finally left, two satiated souls, I was reminded of the last lines of the poem by Pamela Redmond Satran called "What Every Woman Should Have*."

What Every Woman Should Know... Where to go...be it to her best friend's kitchen table...or a charming inn in the woods...when her soul needs soothing...

I know what soothes my soul. I know where to go. I just wish the damn dam operator would get with the program and find a way to let the water flow year-round.

And my "quickie" walk: 2 hours, 15 minutes. Never did get to those errands because ... we went back last night to get more tangible proof than my wet, lightly-"breaded"-with-sand socks and tennis shoes could provide.

*This poem is often miscredited to Maya Angelou. She did not write it.



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5 comments:

ordinaryjanet said...

you sure are a Creek Hiker! :-)

Velvet Sacks said...

I could almost feel the coolness on my own feet as you described wading in the creek. This post was refreshing!

CreekHiker said...

Janet, Yes indeed. Mabel and I both are.

Velvet, Glad you liked it. I took pictures but I've been too busy to post.

Duly Inspired said...

Oh that sounds so perfect and wonderful! Errands can always wait when the time is perfect for a girl and her dog to play.

Becky said...

The creek is so peaceful and beautiful. I miss it and you!!