Friday, August 1, 2008

The Summerchild and wild strawberries

What gives a stream its spirit? Is it the waters that flow there, or is it the rocks and land and moss that mould it?

Some years ago, during a violent rain storm, the Summerchild swelled to a fierce, violent river. It ate into the fields and carved out pieces of the road and had to be stopped before it did more damage. So they scraped a huge machine along its bed, pushing the round, smooth stones aside and tearing out the tranquil, mossy banks that had cradled it all my childhood and much longer still.

It is not the same. The rocks and pebbles that were flung aside look listless and unsure of themselves piled up like that, and the stream no longer leaps and skips from shelf to shelf. It has lost some of its voice, I think.

But it is still the Summerchild. I hope that in time the banks will heal and the stones will either melt into the ground or tumble into the icy water, and gather in new shelves and steps, and then we might recognize its cadence.

And I found some wild strawberries there today. That must be a good sign.


Laini Taylor said...

So sad. Is it really called the Summerchild, or did you name it that? It sounds like a fanciful Tone invention :-) -- straight out of your magical world!

tone almhjell said...

No, it really is! Sommerungen in Norwegian, pronounced 'somrunjen' in my Dad's dialect. That being said, it is a part of my world. It's into it rather than out of it :)