Remember that old tune,

“I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river…”

Ever wonder what that means?

Well I am here to tell you!

This photo is of a small section of Tumalo Creek. A creek located only 3-4 miles from my house.  We frequently hop down there to cool off in the water on a hot summer evening.

A few weeks ago, my sons and I headed down to the river for a nice relaxing float.  My dog, who is my best furry friend, was desparate to come with us and I couldn’t resist those puppy lover eyes, so he came to float as well.

I have a lovely inflatable chair fit for a queen, on which I can put my feet up, recline my back, and even have a place for a beverage on board.  My Fruit Loops, chose to bring our inflatable pretzel.

YES a PRETZEL!

The first time down the creek was lovely. With my puppy on my lap, Whistler by my side in his inner tube, and Racer on the pretzel.

When we decided to go again, Racer requested my chair.  I reluctantly agreed, if he would agree to keep the puppy on his lap.  There is no way you can navigate the creek, on a floating pretzel, with a dog on your lap.

So after hiking up to a keen point of entry, we began the boarding process.It was difficult at first to determine how to board the pretzel. Racer suggested that I put my bottom through the hole at the base of the pretzel  and spread my legs on either side of the top, so I could see where I was going. But that position seemed completely inappropriate. 

After finally loading onto our floatation devices, we were off on what should have been a lovely float take two!

We were cruising along okay until we hit a small patch of rapids. 

Now I don’t know if you have ever been White Water Floating,  not to be confused with White Water Rafting.  White Water Floating takes place in water so shallow that as the water ripples over the rocks, carrying you down stream at an almost adventurous pace, your bottom slips from mossy rock to mossy rock, creating a bouncing effect.  Then when you happen upon a brief patch of still deep water (and when I say deep I mean deep enough that you are not sitting on a rock) you think you are safe now but you are truly only moments away from careening into a rock and rattling your hip bone.

But it’s funny, very funny! 

On the pretzel, I was actually able to distribute my weight in such a way that I rarely bottomed out.

Until the horse shoe.

The Horse Shoe is a small off shoot on the creek, that makes a horse shoe (thus the name) and returns to the main creek. 

Whistler insisted that we try the horseshoe.  Racer was not anxious to float unknown territory and so he continued on the main route with puppy in his lap, agreeing to wait for us where the horse shoe reentered the main stream.

Once in the horse shoe, I was troubled to find that this water was even more shallow than the main stream, and the overgrown trees and water plants, while creating a beautiful picturesque lane on which to float, protruded into the water way in such a way that I feared I would get my eye poked out and surely return to shore blind. 

We were going along delightfully, until my pretzel knot got stuck on a rock.  Whistler nearly laughed himself into hysteria, while I tried to dislodge my pretzel and get back on board before it floated down stream without me. 

Upon exiting the horse shoe, Racer released the puppy into the water.  And being my puppy, he promptly boarded the floating pretzel.  It is important to note here, that when you are floating on a pretzel, you have to balance very carefully.  My bottom was on the knot, my legs crossed slightly at the ankle across the opening at the base of the pretzel, and my head resting comfortably between the two openings at the top of the pretzel.  Prior to the dog joining me, I was able to lift my head slightly to see where I was going and use my hands as a rudder, if you will, to redirect as needed.

Once the puppy boarded, I could still lift my head, but when I did, I could only see my puppy.  He was far too smart to sit on the edge of the pretzel and risk going overboard, so he relaxed on my torso, taking in the sights of the float and making it impossible for me to see where I was going.

My dear Fruit Loops, comfy and without worry, continued down stream.

I on the other hand became a floating comedy act.

Where the horseshoe enters the mainstream, there is a slight drop in elevation, very slight.  But that drop however slight, is not indicative of how the inlet effects the speed at which you are careening off of rocks and shoreline when you enter the current.

My pretzel was tossed to and fro, my bottom bounced like I was on a balance ball,  I not only hit the shore line several times, but had children who were playing in the water scream at the sight of me as I headed toward them shouting

“I HAVE LOST CONTROL OF MY PRETZEL, GET OUT OF MY WAY,
 I WILL RUN YOU DOWN IF YOU DON’T MOVE”

There were moments of calm, when the water was slightly deeper, my bottom didn’t hit anything, the current kept me in the middle of the creek.  But even in those moments,  my pretzel was floating in such a way that I could only see where I had been, and I could never even get a glimpse of where I was going. 

It was then that I realized, the end is near.

My only hope came  from knowing that I would come to the place in the creek, where the water is calm and shallow, where my feet would hit sandy bottoms not rocks, where I would rise from the pretzel, where I would walk quietly to the shore, and rinse my toes as I exit onto the soft green grass.

There will be stillness,

There will be tenderness (if only beneath your feet)

There will be safety,

There will be beauty,

There will be PEACE.

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