Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Distorted reality of youth or a River not so wide.

My sister came over the other day for a wonderful visit, she brought lots of pictures. She had recently gone back to our home state of Iowa to see our cousins and aunts. It has been over 40 years since she had been back there……..36 years for me. Her pictures and stories were incredible. It’s amazing to see the faces of our kin, so much older yet still very much the same.

Hearing my sister tell the stories of our relative’s lives and the town and country around them………..took me back to a simpler time.

I thought it was interesting how the decades had not changed the town that much. All the same land marks were there, but the one thing I did notice was how the dimensions had changed. Why is a child’s view so much smaller and distorted from reality?

This is what I remember…………. behind my aunts house was this great river, the Wapsipinicon, the Wapsi to locals. It’s wide as hell…….at least 1/2 mile wide, no doubt more. I remember that you couldn’t see the homes on the other side of the river……it was just too far across. Every chance we got we would fish in the river for sun fish and cat fish. When it rained we would run outside and grab up the huge night crawlers to use for bait. My uncle Ray would take us for boat rides on the river after much begging on our part. It would scare the crap out of us when he would let the boat drift; joking with us by saying if he wasn’t careful it would go over the damn. WE loved every moment of these visits and we still cherish those memories.

Now……….looking at my sister’s pictures….. reality strikes……. the river is only about 150 feet across, maybe less. It’s so strange to see it from an adult’s perspective. The fearful damn is about ¼ mile from my aunt’s place, once again I remember it being a huge drop……….at least 50 feet. (Reality is it really a good thing?) In the pictures the damn is maybe 10 feet tall……….very small, very unassuming, and not what I had remembered.

What I wouldn’t give to go back in time, to be a child again and feel the excitement and magic of the Iowa vacation. To feel small again, to see things with the distorted reality of youth………..to fish on the river and visit with my relatives who are long gone.

1 comment:

Chris said...

That was a nice story, thanks.