i A Time and a Place...: Remembering My Friends...

Friday, April 21, 2006

Remembering My Friends...

I'm going over my journal, the story of my life (I'm up to age 24) and I start remembering things; remembering my earliest and most eternal friends, my Guardian Angel, the Tuolumne River and its' Trees.

...I spent most of my time alone at the River. The River was my friend and I enjoyed it and my friends, the Trees.

After Mother got more used to me going to the River and staying all hours, it became easier. I don’t know if she began to believe I had a Guardian Angel watching over me (*I did-I was between the ages of eight and eleven when I spent most of my time at the River)or she just got tired of fighting the losing battle with the River over me.

I often went all the way up to the Hughson Bridge which was the upstream limit I had set for myself. Many times I would find a log and float the four or so miles down the River at a very leisurely pace, looking for mussels or just kicked back and enjoying the feeling of buoyancy and the caress of the water on my body.

I found many places in the bank, mainly the northern bank, where the tree roots came out over the water.
There was one big Oak Tree that had extremely thick roots that reached way out over the water, about six or so feet. Water had washed away much of the dirt under the Tree and the roots showing were very strong and thick.

The water at the back there was pretty deep, about five or so feet. I swam under the roots and dug out a large hole in the bank, mostly under the roots, but partly down stream, too.

I could swim under the roots and come up out of the water under the bank and breathe. I could put my feet on the bottom and stand straight up.

I didn’t tell anyone about my underwater Fort. Every time I went up to the Hughson Bridge and floated down, I’d stop and go into the Fort. It never occurred to me it might cave in.
I was in there many times the summer I made it.

That winter the water came up quite high and flooded way up onto the bank. The next spring when the weather got warm enough to swim, I went to the Fort and found it had caved in. The Oak Tree was all right and is probably still standing.

Sometimes, like now, I remember my friends, the River, the Oak Tree, the Fort and my Guardian Angel.



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