First up, I want to say what a wonderful time I had speaking to folks at the Holly Book Club at Holly Lake Ranch last Friday. A nice group of people make that club so welcoming and appreciative of the authors who come to share writing experiences.
While in East Texas, I had to stop by Winnsboro to see the lovely walking and resting space created on what used to be Market Street. After wandering through the Winnsboro Center For the Arts to see the great art for the annual Women in the Arts exhibition, I paused to have my picture taken by the new outdoor art.
Some for the good, others, well…
Bob Dylan had it right when he wrote this song, and who would have thought how it would be still so relevant after so many years. He wrote the song in 1963 as a call to action for frustrated youth.
The words can speak to current times and current events, especially this verse:
Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside and it is ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’
I’m not going to get all political here as I don’t want to stir up an angry debate, but you’d have to be a hermit on some remote island to not be aware of the havoc being wreaked on our society here in the U.S. But as the Delta variant of COVID continues to infect and kill people at an alarming rate, I can’t fathom why people aren’t scrambling to get vaccinated and why many politicians are fighting against mandates for masks and vaccines.
Personal freedom doesn’t mean that we can put ourselves and others at great health risks.
“Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall.”
Don’t let more people die.
One last thought about this. Why are people blaming Biden and his administration for the fact that COVID isn’t under control when he had no part in people making the deadly choice not to get the vaccine? The surge in COVID infections and deaths is primarily in the UNVACCINATED. Until last Thursday President Biden was relying on the good sense of people to protect themselves, and others, without having to mandate it.
Now, I’ll turn the blog over to Slim Randles, who has a lovely essay about the joys of the ol’ swimmin’ hole. Enjoy…
There is, in the splashing of the creek, a great spray of diamonds. As each youngster sails like an astronaut out on the tire swing, then releases the hold on the earth to flail, suspended in time and space for that brief second or two, there is a timelessness, a postponement of all things evil and destructive, an affirmation of joy.
The swimming hole in Lewis Creek has been there since Indian times, of course, and the tire swing was probably preceded by simply a rope with knots in it. It is one of the summer lodestones of our existence. Each summer we have to make our pilgrimage in the hot sun to the hole below the little waterfall, to the place where Lewis Creek widens and deepens for the benefit of hot, dry people before becoming just a creek again. And in this widening of the creek, this sacred place in our summer lives, we also play witness to the passage of years.
Across the creek from the tree with the tire swing, the gravelly bottom extends gently with almost no current for ten feet or so. This is the baby beach, where squealing tots are allowed to cool off without benefit (or hindrance) of any more covering than the smiles of their parents. As the children grow, they venture farther out into the current of the creek and test their strength against the forces of nature. By the time a youngster is eight or ten, the seduction of the tire swing becomes overwhelming and the flailing of the arms and legs against the blue of the sky begins. Later still, when gangliness becomes fluidity and sleekness, and we want to make catlike moves to attract the opposite sex, the tire is used as a swinging platform for exquisite dives into the deep part of the creek where the big trout lie in cold holes.
And as we age, we watch our children come to love the hole in Lewis Creek. We sip lemonade in the shade as our grandchildren work their way up the swimming hole chain of life. We can look at the splashing of the creek and see, with each sleek dive, with each laughing bellyflop, the diamonds of the creek sent skyward, and the laughter stays with us and keeps us strong and makes us feel rich, and fortunate.
It is unnecessary to say the hole in Lewis Creek is an important part of our lives, because it, along with so many other treasures of the years, really is our lives.
Brought to you by Sweetgrass Mornings, by Slim Randles.
Check out all of Slim’s award-winning books at his Goodreads Page and in better bookstores and bunkhouses throughout the free world.
All of the posts here are from his syndicated column, Home Country that is read in hundreds of newspapers across the country. I am always happy to have him share his wit and wisdom here.
Slim Randles is a veteran newspaperman, hunting guide, cowboy and dog musher. He was a feature writer and columnist for The Anchorage Daily News for 10 years and guided hunters in the Alaska Range and the Talkeetna Mountains. A resident of New Mexico now for more than 30 years, Randles is the prize-winning author of a dozen books, and is host of two podcasts and a television program.