Saturday, September 13, 2014

Home on the creek

In winter I can glimpse it through the bare trees, rounding a bend and catching the white light, on its way north to pour into the Etowah River right beside the Indian mounds. It's in no hurry to get there, though. If you're headed up 41 from Acworth to Cartersville, you'll cross over it once and a half-mile later cross over it again. I think I'm safe in supposing that the character of the creek suggested its name.
     It's a fine, wide creek. In our early years out here, when Ruthie was 12 or 13, she and I tried to fish it a couple of times. There was a big outcropping of limestone that slowed and deepened the stream, and we sat on the rocks and went at it with worms and Zebcos. I think we caught a couple of little catfish, which, not being sure which of its unfriendly-looking parts inflicted the fatal wound, we were both afraid to touch.
     That was a while back. We moved into our little cabin in the woods in the spring of 1995. Not everybody would have wanted to, but Dede hasn't got sick of it yet and Ruthie still seems to like coming home. Ruthie and Ben do, now.
     Things do change. A few years ago the county built a water reclamation facility a quarter-mile up the creek. Who knows? Maybe the water flowing past my house today is cleaner now than it's been in decades. What I do know is that every 30 minutes or so, if you're on the back deck, you can hear what sounds like the flushing of the toilet of the titans. Plus, after the leaves fall, our formerly delicious nighttime dark has been blasted by what looks like a small city not a stone's throw away. Across the creek is a 20-acre pasture, from which we can sometimes still hear the lowing of cattle or the muted clacking of the farmer's mowing machine. Now the pasture as been co-opted by a demented person who believes he should fill every evening with the intolerable whine of his radio-controlled model airplanes.    
     Not saying we've got a whole lot to complain about. Most of the year, like right now, we're enclosed almost to the point of claustrophobia by a deep wood of oak, maple, beech, tulip poplar, sweet gum, and sycamore. Deer, wild turkey, and woodland songbirds inhabit the place. It's still quiet here, and lovely. The kind of place, in other words, that people are going to feel nostalgic about when they're all gone.
     Which is going to be the theme of this blog: not just nature, but what's happening to nature, what the human species is doing to the earth, the evidence for and effects of climate change, and the state of denial on the part of politicians and the corporations that own them.
     I read and think about these things a lot, and I'm inclined to share.

1 comment:

  1. Uncle John,

    Love your reflections here about living in yonder wood. I appreciate a good anecdote having grown up in a similar setting east of Richmond. While wasn't too far from town, you felt like you were in another state. I miss the woods most during this time of year- there's nothing like the seasonal transition in the woods, especially in the rolling hills setting of your home. Enjoyed reading the posts, and look forward to future updates.