By Lynn Moncus
A couple of weeks ago, Aggie and I stood beside he Plaza Larga to watch that Colorado water rushing by, and my mind did its usual trick of heading to the canyons to see the beginning of that creek.
When we are very young we take almost everything for granted and don’t realize how much change we will see through the years. We don’t even realize that many things we will see in those early days will become so precious to us as we age.
I was transported mentally to the porch at grandmother’s house and the wonderful swings thereon. After a good rain and after the lightning had ceased, we would sit on those swings to watch the waterfalls across the canyons as the water cascaded from the plains to the bottom of the canyon on its way to the Plaza Larga and finally to the Canadian River.
Just how many children in these parts were fortunate enough to have waterfalls in their front yards? How many had their parents and grandparents on hand to explain what they were seeing and how unique the scene was to an arid land?
We’d watch the natural cisterns fill to overflowing and would see that water rolling from the top of the large cave below. We could hear the roar of that water as it rushed down that creek and crashed into the next level below.
Because mother had been fortunate enough to have done quite a bit of traveling when she was young, she had seen other waterfalls and would describe them to us as we watched the ones right in front of us.
She had also seen large rivers and would tell about them in detail as we talked about the water splashing off the bluffs on its way to the Canadian.
Dad would describe the route the water took as it rolled along below the house and explained that we were at t he head of one of the longest creeks in the county.
When we had major gully washers, we often saw large boulders tumbling along. That always bothered me a bit because I had scouted around a very large boulder directly above my bedroom and wondered if it would come tumbling down next.
Dad would assure me that wouldn’t happen because it was embedded too deeply in the canyon wall. I bought that idea for a while until one crashed into the middle of the only road to the house, and then I continued to do just a little worrying.
Of course, that big rock still stands above the remains of the house, but I know I would still be a bit edgy were I privileged to be in another such storm out there.
Other major rock slides were caused by lightning during such storms and made me wonder what would happen were it to strike that particular rock. One such slide demolished the chicken house, but that was okay because we could rarely keep chickens long enough to reach the fryer stage as all sorts of predators feasted on them.
Besides, that was just one less chore to have to see about. After all, it was so far from the house that no little person wanted to walk back there to see if even one chick remained. I guess I never did figure out why grandpa chose to build a chicken house there because we had to carry water and feed such a distance.
We might have had a few inconveniences in those canyons, but we were most definitely surrounded by beauty in all directions. We were away from the roaring winds on the plains and could always find a cool spot in which to rest during the summer.
As a child, I appreciated that beauty, and as a adult I long for it. ‘Tis time to take a trip!