A small creek flows by the town center. In summer, children play in its river, catching butterflies, wading and splashing. But it all flows into the deep darkness of the culvert. A large drain-hole that leads far away. I wonder what it could lead to…

The book Wild Girls by Pat Murphy, is a favorite of mine, for all of it, but one chapter stays with me. The two girls, Fox and Newt take flashlights into the dark culvert, which stretches miles underground, they walk through it, talking, until Wild Girl Fox says she would never have gone into the drain, if Newt had not been with her.

As I sat by the river, looking into the culvert, I wished I had someone to plunge into the darkness with. But, most of my friends would get too scared to enter its depths, and, for the sake of truth, I would too. But, I longed for it, to have that kind of adventure with someone who is like a sister to me. To throw the rules out the window, and say screw the fear, the danger! Wild Girls is the kind of book I call a Summer Story. It has the distinct feel of the freedom of running free in summer, of exploring, or being without supervision. To be kids. I love books like that, and I long for my life to like that, for those to be a portal I could leap through. To have those Summer days where we become wild, running through towns, fields, secret passage ways, with a friend running beside me.

But, I knew I would never gather a flashlight and enter the Culvert. It was a distant dream, not much more. Yet, no matter how distant, entertaining those dreams is the closest I’ll come to living in a Summer Story.

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