My history with creek banks probably started in my first grade when I made a bad grade. If the teacher scribbled on the paper with red pencil….I was smart enough to know this paper did not merit the attention of my mother. So it was that as I made my journey home with such a paper, there just happened to be a wonderful creek bank awaiting my visit. Taking a furtive look around, I would scoot down the bank, drop the offending paper in the creek and wait until the current had launched it off to a new destination. I didn’t care where – just so long as it didn’t arrive at the little green house on 20th Street where Mom was waiting for me.
On a recent visit back to Langdale, Alabama, my sister and I shared a moment of laughter on a bridge above the creek. I pointed out a possible blockage in the flow of water because of all the papers I had tossed into the creek back in 1957.
Down By The Creek Bank
There have been many creek banks over the past years, all of them special in shaping me into the person I am today. Sheldon and I did a lot of our dating down in Alvaton, Kentucky at the Alvaton Creek. We spent hours sitting beside the rippling water, watching as the sunlight overhead danced designs on the creek bank below. It was the perfect place to dream lofty dreams of the future we would share together. We couldn’t have known it then, but we would revisit this creek bank many times in the future and find it refreshing and inspirational.
The Creek Can Be A Place Of Rest
The Creek Bank Can Be A Place Of Reflection
The Creek Bank Can Be A Place Of Remembering
When we pastored the Liberty Baptist Church in Auburn, Kentucky, we often went to the Auburn Park for a picnic. There was a particular place “over the creek” where we spent much time. The creek wasn’t especially deep, but the current was steady and the rocks were slippery. Our admonitions for the children to “stay out of the creek” were obeyed – except for the many times they visited with their bikes and had many adventures crossing the creek, probably falling in the creek, and never telling us until they were adults.
The Creek Bank Can Be A Place Of Refreshment
The White Bridge Creek At Walcott, Kentucky
I first discovered the White Bridge in the spring of 2014. As the waters rippled and gurgled over the boulders, the tranquility of the moment refreshed my soul. I sat for a long time just breathing the beauty of sight and sound.
Then came the fall and those waters became a mighty force, rushing and tumbling over those same boulders – in a hurry to get someplace else.
A New Look At An Old Bridge – Along The Creek Bank
In the spring of 2016, the rushing mighty waters threatened the foundation of the White Bridge at Walcott, Kentucky. Those who knew the history of the bridge understood this threat. Built in 1824, it was rebuilt in 1881, and after continued damage, was reconstructed in 2002. These spring waters were carrying excessive amounts of debris, creating islands, blocking the water flow and crumbling the very foundation of the bridge.
But today, there is no water. It is quiet. Except for the whisper of the fall leaves as the wind gently moves, and a few birds calling out in the forest, we are alone. There’s been no rain for a long time and we are able to walk in an almost dry creek bed. I feel like Moses crossing the Red Sea when God caused the waters to part. (Only our waters are not completely gone, and the ground is a bit muddy).
It’s a new experience to see what has always been covered by the waters. To walk and climb on the very boulders that are usually covered by tons of rapidly moving water is exhilarating. I begin to see things I’ve never seen, and think thoughts that are like life -lessons from the creek bank.
Life Lessons From A Dried-Up Creek Bed
I study the root system of this tree and see how the very foundation has been washed away by the ravages of the constant and repeated rushing water. (There’s even some sort f sea monster at the base of the root as if to say, I win”).
Along the creek bank I see brokenness where the forces of water have pulled and tugged until there is a breaking point and a tree succumbs to the pressure.
Even the rocks have not escaped the erosion at the base where water has continually battered and pulsated along the creek bank.
All up and down the creek bed there are obstacles fallen across the way, making it difficult to go forward.
I see the crystal droplets on the bare limbs and think how like God to refresh my heart when I may feel all used up, and at the end of hope and dreams.
These once lush green leaves are concluding their summer glory. Fresh cool raindrops hang tenaciously to the tips of the leaves, dripping on my head as I walk underneath – a reminder that after death, there is life. After a dream dies, a new one is born.
I look past the dry creek and see the bouquet of fall color and my heart is refreshed. The Creek Bank is changed. The season is changed. Even the creek itself is changed…but I know that “as long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease (Genesis 8:22). God is never-changing, His Word is true, and He has caused my heart to sing.
Today, down my the creek bank, I’ve discovered a place of rest,reflection, remembrance, and refreshment. How about you? Been down to the creek bank lately? I’d love to hear about it.
To visit the Walcott Covered Bridge, travel from Brooksville, Kentucky. north on 1159 until you cross KY 546