Here I sit, feet dangling in the water, watching tiny suckerfish nibble at my feet. I’m terrified of sucker fish—at least the big ones at the bottom of the river or lake. But these tiny little guys make me chuckle rather than scream. I giggle and wave my feet gently to dislodge them. Glancing up at the other grassy shore not 20 feet away from me, I think of the fires ravaging similar brush less than a dozen miles away. As I cross the creek, white rocks jab my feet as I slip across them, slowly making my way to the deep swim hole.
My favorite spot. At least this far north.
A few weeks ago, I moved from my dream city, Los Angeles, back to my hometown, Redding, California. The first few days back were brutally hot; all 110 degrees plus. This was a shock after living near the beach where 80 degrees was considered hot. Plus, there are next to no job prospects up here (and I definitely don’t want to make this move permanent). I’m stuck, and my titanium-held-together-legs don’t have enough strength to carry me somewhere secure just yet. Knowing this, one of my best friends, took me to her special place just outside of Redding.
From the momentwe parked, I saw the lush green grass stretch out in front of me. I felt totally and completely at peace. After we changed into our swimsuits, she led me down the ginormous steps (I had to hop down each of them) to an adorable creek. Where we were the waterwas calm, but nearby the little man-made dam created a mini-waterfall and sent water crashing amongst the huge rocks below.I could wade, I could swim, or I could just be and enjoy the waterfall.
As I floated down the creek in its gentle current, all I could picture was Ophelia floating in the river in Hamlet. I pictured the photos that could be caught from above and posed. Then I saw the dragonflies dancing above my head and I imagined writing a story about a girl and her pet dragonflies, or some such nonsense. After another moment, I formed an even odder story in my mind of huge suckerfish at the bottom of the creek, just waiting to drag someone down. I must admit, I swam pretty swiftly back to where I could touch the bottom.
One of the biggest issues I had in LA was trying to figure myself out. But I was just so gosh-darned busy there, my brain couldn’t wrap itself around my audition schedules, let alone that plus a social life, oh, and maybe a relationship?! Here at the creek, my phone doesn’t even work. I can’t even send my fun buddy sexy pics out here. I can think though. About… whatever the hell I want. Where is my life going? What career(s?) should I focus on? How I can get back in shape without hurting myself too bad?
I need this space. I know it doesn’t need me, but sometimes I need that too.