Where the forest opens, six houses stand. It’s a village unto itself: the Hermit, the Widow, the Sheriffs, the Seekers, the Eccentrics … and now, it seems, a Pirate.
Outside this village we have nothing in common. Inside this village, our point of commonality is the Conococheague Creek, or what the Delaware people called the “Many-Turns-River”. The creek is born here; it is our life source and it weaves through the forest, attracting deer, herons, and turkeys.
My adored and I stroll through the village, and house by house, folks roll out to meet us. They offer us coffee and vegetables, help and advice.
“If you’ns see a bear, dontchu worry,” says Sheriff Ernie. “Seven foot, we figure. He comes ’round here time to time an’ I scare it off.”
(Did you say bear?!?)
He leads us to the creek and points. “That’s where your water comes from.”
I look at the intake pipe … and look at the creek … and somehow I’ll never think of water the same way again. There is no water treatment plant … just a system that is both fragile and delightfully simple.
The little girl in me is fascinated by the water skaters gathering there. A sassafras leaf swirls in an eddy, and bright pebbles gleam from the sand and the silt.
We walk on, and with every neighbor I feel more at home. With good reason. They’be been looking for someone like me for a very long time. The last person who looked at the cottage wanted to turn it into a garage. For race cars. Before him was an endless stream of out-of-state doctors looking for a weekend getaway.
When we return to my cottage, a doe and twin fawns stand watching us under the hemlocks.
A light rain begins to fall … and I smile.
Many Turns –
a little girl’s laughter
in the creek chatter