In the last few months the creek that runs through the middle of our place had all but stopped running, leaving puddle holes and water flowing under the rocks that form the bottom of our creek to the next puddle.
We were fortunate enough to catch a break in our drought and get some rain a month ago. It took four days of heavy rain to start the creek flowing again but it is.
I didn’t realize how much I rely on the creek.
I know it waters and cools the cows, provides water for the house and the dairy and irrigates the pasture when required. We like to go swimming in it on a hot summers day. Our friends like to camp on the banks.
What I didn’t know was how much my soul needs the creek.
After a particularly stressful milking I took the bike down to the creek just on dark. I hadn’t been since before I’d left for Geelong nearly three weeks earlier and went to check the pasture on the other side and to see exactly how much flow was going past.
I stopped at my favorite spot. I turned the bike off and listened to the sounds.
The noises of the birds coming in to rest for the night.
The distant sound of town settling down after a long day.
The pound dog, Tiger, who came for the run, splashing and splooshing across the creek upstream.
But it was the gurgling of the creek that made me close my eyes, take a deep breath, exhale.
Off came the boots and socks and in I went.
The water was running quick over small rocks about knee deep. I could feel all the worries of the week just flowing away over the small set of rapids just below me.
The water was clear and the light was still good enough for me to be able to watch a small fish, no longer than my pinky, sit behind a rock on the bottom of the creek.
The odd leaf or twig flowed by. Spitty grubs must have been leaving their nest in the wattle tree up the creek as a few of them floated past too.
I resisted the urge to go a bit further up and submerge my weary body and troubled mind in the deeper hole I know is there. There is a ‘thing’ in there I didn’t feel like dealing with..
Instead I put my arms in. I could feel the pressure of the water. I moved my hands around and noticed the changes holding my hands at different angles made to the water flowing past.
I lost my thoughts, giving over to the little girl within. Listening, feeling, discovering, relaxing.
I remember now.