To the waters and the wild.

March 4th, 2013

Come away, O human child! To the waters and the wild…

W.B. Yeats, Stolen Child

I saw them for the first time a few nights after we moved into the house in the valley. “Come see!” I called to the children. “Come out and see the skateboarders!” We stood on the porch, watching them swoop down the hill like a flock of egrets landing over water, all skinny legs and punk insouciance. Our breath held at the startling, strange beauty of something so wild seen in such a tame place.

My oldest was nine years old that spring, and whenever he saw them after that, he would go stand at the edge of the asphalt river and watch them fly by, entranced. On my errands through the neighborhood, I would spot them sometimes, and wonder where they lived and how old they were. They seemed to belong to no one, and come from nowhere. Immortals from the realm of faery.

Then they were gone. Two, then three seasons without a single sighting. Our suburban street restored to civilization: cars and bicycles, seats and safety belts, helmets and signal lights. I watched for them, but they never came back.

Until lately.

“Going skateboarding,” he calls out, and I watch him from the porch, my breath held, as he launches his board into the paved rushing current, all skinny legs and punk insouciance. He picks up friends along the way, and sometimes I catch a glimpse of them on my circuit between the house and grocery store, in all their startling, strange beauty, looking like they belong to no one, amazed that he is mine.


Photos #2 and #3 taken this weekend at

6 Responses to “To the waters and the wild.”

  1. Rita Arens says:

    I have always thought skateboarders looked sort of like birds, too. Love it.

  2. Corrine says:

    I could happily read your writing all day long. So beautifully said.

  3. joan says:

    I was feeling the same thought as Corrine. Lovely.

  4. […] Like this elusive creature.  […]

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