|Big Chico Creek photo by Libby Fife|
The above pic shows a portion of Big Chico Creek. This area runs through a wonderful property owned by a really amazing woman. We stayed in her cottage, a VRBO, and had a great time. We didn't do a darn thing! We hiked around, drove to nearby Mt. Lassen, read our books, visited with the cat, and of course, went in the creek.
Creeks are a real attractor for me. I couldn't wait to get into this one so we went as soon as possible. The water was cold so I got in gradually. As I stood in the creek, looking off to the far ends and then looking closer at the water, I waited to have some profound thought or other about God, his presence in this space that I was enjoying. I could lie and say I had a great revelation but I didn't. I was incredibly grateful to be standing there, alive to the water and possibility of thinking about it, but nothing profound came to me. It wasn't until later, as I began to process things with words, that I had an idea.
Looking back to my experience of standing there in the water, I realized that there is something both secretive and open about that space. I felt as if I was a part of the space but yet somehow detached from it. In retrospect, I feel that I was having difficulty connecting with what I was seeing. There was a moment though when I looked down into the water, into my own reflection which carried to the bottom. I could see the rocks clearly-they seemed to be highlighted, made ultra sharp. I looked to the side of my reflection and the surroundings rocks were not as clear. They were a little blurred and not as colorful somehow. I then looked up to the surrounding creek banks and trees and bushes. Then, back down to this small little world made sharp by my own shadow. It was kind of amazing that I hadn't even noticed this.
For me, the view seemed to be a metaphor of sorts for how I was seeing things that day. My thoughts were both clear and hazy. I was really waiting for one obvious thing to tell me about God's presence. Forget it! The obvious thing was the simplest thing and it was right in front of me. It was the creek itself and all that it entails: the water, the plants, the insects and the microcosm of rocks in my reflection. I just needed to look down to see things clearly.