Sunday 29 July 2012

Sail Off Into Our Dreams

Hurricane came over today wearing his Pirates eye patch and ear ring and it made me think about playing in the water when I was a kid.

Everyone loves to play in water, but sometimes as adults we feel embarrassed to be seen splashing in puddles on the way to work. Some of us ride our bikes as fast as we can towards a puddle and at the last minute lift our legs as the water sprays out both sides. The look of complete abandon fills our face and it is pure joy. Well, until you realize that you misjudged the length of the puddle and the bike slowly coasts to a stop in the deepest part of the puddle. So much for lifting your feet! Still fun though. Who doesn’t love to drive through a puddle with the car and make ten foot waves? That was done to me a couple of times while I was delivering the mail. Kind of a piss off, but if it were raining there was a better than average chance I was soaked to the skin anyways. Oh, the driver was still a bastard but…no, he is just a bastard!

I can remember going to the creek behind my house when I was a kid and spending hours playing in and around a small, stagnant pool of water. We would hop from stone to stone trying to get across the pond, only to find that the stones ran out half way through or the key stone was “tilty”. Sometimes we would place new stones to make it easier to cross, and sometimes, some other “mystery” kids would have done it. We never ran into anyone else, but there were indications that we were not alone. Sometimes there would be the remnants of a fire, or some wood that wasn’t there the week before. I am sure they wondered the same thing, but we never wasted too much time on speculation.

I can remember an old door that became our pirate ship. It was supported on three or four stones, but in our minds it was floating across the ocean. We would always slip and slide from side to side, eventually falling in and getting a “soaker”. In the springtime when the water was truly high, our “ship” might actually float and instead of just getting a soaker we would get completely soaked from head to feet. God, we had a lot of fun in that pond.
We learned about biology there. We didn’t call it that, but we watched tadpoles grow into tiny frogs and then into larger frogs that we would try to catch, with varying levels of success. We would lie by the side of the pond and watch the clouds trying to find pictures of dragons, airplanes, horses and sometimes people. We would catch butterflies in a jar filled with grass and they would eventually die of course. Now I realize that being in a sealed jar sitting in the noonday sun would have cooked them pretty quickly. I was always a little afraid of dragonflies, because of the four wings and large eyes I guess. They were also next to impossible to catch.
Every time that I came home from one of these excursions, I would get in trouble from my mom. She would take one look at the wet, muddy and sometimes torn clothes and know that I had been down at the creek. She would say “I told you never to go there! Don’t you know where that water comes from? The sewer! You were playing in other peoples poop! Do you want to get sick? Do you want to get polio? Your uncle Bill had polio when he was a little boy and he can’t use his hand or walk properly! Stay away from there or ….” It kept on and on like that. I would look sad and maybe even cry, but the next time the sun was high in the sky and the crickets called my name, I would meet my buddies down at the creek and sail off into our dreams…

1 comment:

  1. Good story Ken and I also remember playing down at the river and yes catching butterflies. Sometimes we would live dangerously and catch bees. We didn't have all those tech gadgets to amuse us, so like you we made our own fun. Good times and good memories. B