…and ohhhh just like that river I’ve been runnin’ ever since. Sorry, got a bit of Sam Cooke in my head. If you’re interested, Seal does a fantastic cover of this song. People have been born by the calm waters of the San Diego river for many thousands of years, especially among the Kumeyaay who lived here long before missionaries or soccer moms. This Sunday I took CH and Number Two on a bumpy wagon ride down to a place called the Grinding Rocks in Mission Trails park. There in the flat rocks beside the river are gentle shallow depressions where grain was ground with river rocks, no doubt by patient women with children strapped to their backs. Child Harbat was delighted to explore the rocks and find more of the man-made bowls worn into the rock by generations of work, the paper-rustle of the river reeds interrupting the steady burble and splash of the river. The Boy wanted little more than to fall into the water and roll in the sand like a duckling.
Our trusty rugged garden wagon was transformed into a conastoga wagon crossing the Great Divide and striking out through sagebrush toward a better life or maybe even gold in them hills. The good news is that CH was able and willing to act as mule, pulling the wagon while I followed behind waiting for the pair to go bumping down an embankment.
We spent another hour in the visitor center, Number Two delighting in setting off the motion-activated animal sounds in the museum so we were serenaded by a coyote, mountain lion, owl, frog, and crickets about a thousand times. It warmed my heart that neither child wanted to leave. Am I painting too rosy a picture? By the time we got home it was past lunch- and nap-time and Number Two became the household’s grand winner or everyone’s favorite game, Everything Tears™. Food was flung on the floor in anger and disgust then wailed for with dramatic weeping then allowed to fall from the mouth during more cries of misery. A three-hour nap brought the boy back up to tolerable happiness until dinner when we dared, DARED to only give him one cookie. Such are the costs of a long hike down to the river!