The rushing of fresh water over rolling over the romantic rocks of my childhood comes flooding back to me.
I remember the time—to be honest the several times—my father drove his four-wheeler with all of the bells and whistles, including the ever necessary rooftop exhaust through the gurgling rivers of my neighborhood. And when I say rivers, I don’t mean a cute little stream of water with a doe drinking from the water’s edge. Instead, imagine the adrenaline educing white water rapids of Colorado, with a determined Irishman at the wheel of the Jeep refusing to find a road. He’s the one who wants to drive through the madness.
Now, as a kid and even to this day I think what happens next is the fun part. He’d tell my mother and us boys to get out of the car. My mother would patiently wait to see if it was safe to cross and my brother and I walked across the river. At the time, I thought it was just for fun
Only later in my life did I catch on to the fact that he wasn’t trying to make the vacation more exciting, but using his own children—ME—as a gauge for how deep the river was so that the family car could drive through the chilly currents without stalling.
We’d all make it across. Me and my brother wet on the other side of the bank and my mother, now in the car, on the passenger side of this indestructible Jeep drove up with my dad. I remember the car struggling to trudge past the slippery boulders and my father’s fixed gaze on the shoreline when the water was past the door handles. Somehow he knew he’d make it across.
And I know what I’m about to say may sound a little out there, but because of my outdoorsy upbringing, every time I hear the rushing of water, for a moment, I come back to this memory of my family daring to cross the river. And in this sense, of myself growing up and evolving to fit a now fairly urban environment, I’m somehow connected to the water. Like the rivers of my childhood, I came from an almost untamed environment where I crashed and collided with the rocks around me until finally the day came where I was fit enough to find my residency in the city—no longer needing to find my path because I was already on it.