Flat Rock, Rippled Pond

One of the joys of my childhood was having unlimited access to the Willamina River that bordered our small farm in Western Oregon. With nearly one-half mile that was mine to explore, I was never happier than when I escaped to its edge to indulge in minute explorations of this moist, boggy, ferny paradise. Robinson Crusoe fantasies dominated my play. By the age of eight, a part of me longed to escape the tensions that were a daily part of life in my family. The river bank is where I learned to skip rocks, catch crawdads, check the boggy areas for minnows, and observe the development…