The Creek that ate me

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I just got through posting a comment to Margaret Cho’s  latest post on her blog. She related her problems as a young girl with nosebleeds. I recalled many of the problems I had as a child. However, from the youngest age I had lived on a farm, and so nosebleeds or any other weird body related thing was pretty much ignored by my parents who lived through the Great Depression and just took such things for granted. All kids have all kinds of scars, and things oozing, and weird smells and whatnot. Nothing that a little spit and a handkerchef couldn’t cure. And dirt. That was the real cure-all of my youth, lots of dirt!! It’s good for ya’. Anyhow I won’t go into my other weird problems as a child. Just look on her site margaretcho.com for my comment. Instead for this post, I wanted to relate a wonderful little story of how you get what you resist. It happened on the farm, when I was about five years old.

I used to ride my tricycle up and down the dirt road which led to our farm. There was a little creek that ran near our farm, although for me it was a huge creek. I was terrified of that creek. As I approached the bridge over the creek, my little heart would pound. I hated it. For some weird reason, I was afraid I might fall in. So I arrived at a solution. I would simply close my eyes as I crossed the bridge. It would be a lot less scary if I couldn’t see it. Ah, yes, childhood logic! It isn’t there if you can’t see it. Of course, using such logic I assumed that I would pedal my little tricycle in a straight line over the bridge and continue on my merry way, but no.  When you’re eyes are closed, guess what?, you move in a circle! So, I drove that tricycle off the bridge and straight into the creek. I was crying and screaming for a few seconds, until I discovered that I was standing in the creek, and my head was well above the water. But then I felt myself sinking a little bit in the mud, and started scrambling to crawl up the bank. I was pulling up dandelions, and finally just used my brute strength, to sink my little fingers as deep in the bank as I could and pulled myself up and out of the creek. I had mixed emotions at this point. It was totally cool how I managed to save myself. I had fallen in the dreaded creek and lived to tell the story. I began to put that story together in my head. I wanted to milk this for all it was worth. I could have drowned! I could have cracked my head open! Naturally I would leave out how it was that I managed to end up there. Perhaps in all the drama, that wouldn’t come up. So I walked home, glancing back at the tricycle dangling from the bridge. I thought it looked pretty cool. I was expecting my family to be very sympathetic and concerned for my health. But when I arrived back home, all wet and dirty, they all burst out laughing before I could even explain myself. I got absolutely no pity whatsoever. But even at that age, I knew that I had brought this on myself. I learned that if you spend your time worrying about something it will likely happen, as a result of your own efforts to avoid it. A simple way to put it is: you get what you resist. I can’t say I have completely learned my lesson. But I rode my tricycle with much more confidence after that. Bring it on! I survived the terrifying creek!

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