Soakers and Swells

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It was Forty-Mile creek’s second melt and flush of ice that had frozen over, taken out by the added rain. The waters had once again reached the banks, pushing huge slabs of thawing ice on either side of the creek. I found myself kicking chunks back in, delighting in my ability to move such large formations and watching them be carried downstream. This activity brought me back to memories of kicking large sheets of ice back into the water as a kid. A large log about two feet in diameter and eight feet long, got caught up against a bent over tree. I pushed on the log, noticing that I was even able to make it move. I kicked and pushed and slipped, dislodging the log and placing it against the power of the rushing water. While the log started moving, my boot ended up in the water, and my hand slammed back to brace myself on the path. I had what we used to call, a soaker. I noticed my hand hurt a bit, I had caught a nail that began to bleed. It took me longer to notice that I also jammed a finger which supported my ring, and it began to swell. The band around my finger felt like it was tightening. I thought I’d ice it and let the swelling go down that night, only to wake up and notice the swelling had increased. Now I was worried. There was no way I would be able to get the ring off now. The finger began to throb. I had visions of needing to cut off my ring, or worse, my finger too. We tried Windex and some string, and that did not work. I waited another night while icing it down and it felt better, but still sore. After a couple of days, the swelling went down, but the ring would still not budge. The bruising healed itself and the swelling went down. One week later, with both Windex and soap, I was able to finally pull the ring off. My finger is still sore. In the meantime, temperatures dropped, and Forty-Mile creek once again began to accumulate ice. I ran up against a beaver breaking ice on the edges, keeping his options open for food. A screech owl is living in the wood duck box on the other side, and a new layer of ice might allow me to get closer for a better shot. This means there will be a third melt and swelling of waters, and ice strewn from shore to shore, a playground and paradise for any child looking to feel strong and accomplished. The boot and socks are dry, the ring is off, and the pain in my jammed finger continues, but I still have ten of them and this call to kids play runs deep. Next time, I’ll just leave my ring at home.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Pastor Sid

Karin Terpstra