A story about tadpoles

With 30 days of June behind me and the holiday before me, I thought I’d take just a moment to reflect.  This summer has been all about simplicity and going back to basics.  Enjoying the days without worry and regret, much like we did as children.  Which is why I thought this journal entry was an appropriate way to kick off July.

“I was passing by the tractor tire in the lane behind the barn when I did a double take.  The muddy puddle that had formed in the dirt was peppered with wiggly little black dots.  I recognized them instantly. I knew them well. They were tadpoles.

As a child I spent many summer days in the creek behind my parent’s house.  I was a lover of water and was fascinated by turtles, frogs, craw fish and minnows.  The creek was wide and shallow and by mid July parts of it would completely dry up revealing all these inhabitants of the creek but most of all, a mess of tadpoles.

I could never bear watching as the tadpoles were forced into smaller and smaller puddles until eventually there was no water left for them at all. So I would take a bucket and net and patiently scoop them from the murky puddles, transferring them up stream to a spot beneath the willow brush where natural springs kept the area full of fresh cold water all summer long.

Sometimes it took days.  Sometimes the sun stole the creek so quickly I worried there wouldn’t be time to save them all.  One particular day I worked so late into the evening that I encountered a family of raccoons who were anticipating just that.  They were as surprised to see me crouched over the tiny mud puddle as I was to see them staring quizzically at me.

So when I saw the tractor tire it immediately took me back.  And my instinct was to move them to a safer place. I gathered some supplies and tethered Dillinger to a tree nearby and positioned myself on the ground and went to work.  Just like I would have when I was a child.

And part of me found real solace in that simple act.

In the fact that even I could still make time in my busy life for this tiny act of kindness.

We often wonder who we will become when we get older.  How our age and years of wisdom will define us.  How the trying times might shape and jade us.  But for one glorious hour on a hot June morning I didn’t have to wonder.  I recognized that even after all last summer had put me through, I was still the same girl after all.

The same kindhearted barefoot girl of my childhood,  kneeling in a muddy creek bed, oblivious to the fading days of summer.  Years away from having to grow up.  Her only care in the world this puddle of water.  Her only deadline the sun.

And at least for a little while I reveled in that simple moment.  Embracing that child like innocence.  Just me and the tadpoles and a dwindling pool of water.”


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