Here at the end of Valentine’s Week–yes, we celebrate this magical holiday for an entire week at our house–I think back, with great fondness, across the years to my very first love.

She was the loveliest thing I had ever seen, and I was drawn to her side by an irresistible force. She spoke very softly, possessed a reflection often rivaling that of the mid-summer sun, and was both slender and curvy in ways that far exceeded my boyish insight.

Her mere existence gave life to all around her, not just me, even though I reveled in her presence, often from sunrise to sunset.

While many memories from those long-ago days have faded with the passage of time, remembrances of her still possess great clarity and affection, for nothing compared to my first love.

What was it about her that made such a long-lasting impression on me, and still brings an authentic smile to my aging face? All I know to say is that she was a place of true escape for me. A place where I could go for solace, for pleasure, for discovery.

You see, to a boy of 6, my neighborhood creek truly was a magical creature. Alive…in ways that still captivate me. Even though she no longer exists–the victim of road improvement–the love I felt for her still burns brightly within my heart.

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