Many years ago, a family gifted a parcel of land to the county, creating a wonderful park. Many of the "old-timers" in town have fond memories of this little gem. I've heard stories of mothers and daughters fishing in the creek, of older sisters being married in this park, and of these same people celebrating 50th wedding anniversaries surrounded by these wonderful memories.
I'm new to my town, and to the beauty of Northern Illinois. But I'm not new to the beauty and the peace that comes from spending a day at the creek. Most of my childhood was spent in, on or near North Creek in Princeville, IL. We waded in it, tubed down in, and jumped across it. We got leeches from it, something I'll never forget. When my friend Lori's pregnant horse was missing, we hiked all around North Creek until we came across the lovely little foal and her mother in a sunny clearing. Another day I'll never forget. We named one part of the creek Demon's Cove after we were certain that we saw red-robed people walking across the woods. We even found a scrap of fabric on a barbed wire fence.
The sound of running water is the sound of my childhood. It calms me, restores me, and gives me a sense of peace. It also wakes me up from my slumber and quickens my blood. It gives me courage, and invites me to take on adventure.
Thank you, to that family long ago who chose to preserve and protect this little haven for families you would never know. We will appreciate it, and keep it safe for another generation of mothers and daughters and sisters and partners.