The Canadian years, 69, the water Nymph

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Saturday 14 February 09:26


Water nymphs

The water of the river was clear and swept unopposed along its banks, where it was slowed down by its banks where the river was wide, only to rise and increase in speed where rocks  changed its course, shaped by rapids and gorges. Sometimes she would pour into a basin to widen up again and unwind herself in tranquility. Wherever you put your foot down, were stones or pebbles. Richard and I wore cut-off jeans and our trainers made their way across the slippery ground to the deeper part of the river. The wet canvas shoes squeezed and rubbed along my instep and the fine river sand that nestled between my shoe and my skin would ensure that my skin would carry for days the memories of the river with them. We pushed a huge tractor inner tube between us toward the center of the water flow. We had expected to float down the lazy river but reality was that we had to work hard to get ahead. At times the big tube got stuck in shallows and then we had to get off and push until the water took us back on track. We were still close to the Bearspaw dam and if we would have had a vague schedule, we were now hopelessly out of step with that planning.

It did not matter, we tried to keep away from Beverly and Don. Don was the only one with normal jeans on that already had become pretty soaked and Beverly’s bikini of which Don, had been dreaming all week, consisted of a pair of cutoff jeans with a shirt with the shirt ends tied together so her belly button was visible and piece of her lower ribs. ‘Is that your bikini,’ Don had asked with disappointment in his voice? ‘I really dig your swimming trunks as wel,’ Beverly had replied, ’far out.’ ‘Real men’, Don replied solemnly, ‘never take off their pants’. ‘Hey’, Richard said, you did not get that quite right, I think, was not always take off their pants?’ ‘I've often heard complaints about Don,’ I chuckled, ‘but it is a friend so  what do you do, it should not be discussed  in the group but it appears that Don's pants seem to stand up by themselves.’


‘What do you mean, stand up,’ Beverly said with interest.’ Yes,’ I said, ‘they say, but please note I have not seen it myself, that if he takes off his pants that he can put him in the corner of his bedroom, and they just stand there.’ ‘Oh, that kind of standing up,’ Beverly laughed. ‘Hey,’ protested Don, ‘this is not fun anymore.’ ‘Well,’ Richard said, ‘we differ there.’ ‘I meant it differently than I said it,’ Don explained. ‘I can not imagine how you can have meant it, Richard said, ‘something like, I never pull my pants off, what else can that mean?’ ‘Enlightened us young Don,’ Richard spoke with the voice of Mr. Wall, how else could you have meant it, but, I keep my pants on.’ ‘Oh never mind,’ Don said, ‘we are here and away and that's important.’ Meanwhile, we were already struggling a good hour to get out of the shallows, dragging the tube along, occasionally  it floated, but there was no way we could sit on it because, immediately we’d hit the riverbed.

We followed Don and Beverely who had a slight headstart. Beverly was waving and pointing to an island. It did not earn that name really. The river flooded just past a sand elevation with some shrubs. We toiled stumbling their way and only came within speaking distance when they had almost reached the island. The splashing about drowns out every human sound. You do not realize that on its shores, but even more so when you are in the middle of the stream. We pulled the tubes far  on to ‘the island’ that was lying in the gully. You saw that the water past the island was deeper,  and wading to it I estimated it just a pair of hands deep. It barely came to my shins. The river narrowed past the island and became deeper and faster.


‘This is base island’, Beverly laughed. ‘I did not know it had a name,’ I said. ‘Well no, dude, we call it base island, from here we start to enjoy real rafting’. She looked like a sparkling diamond. ‘Just rest a bit and we will set off.’ There we were relaxing in the sun, everything worked out fine that day. We were sheltered by bushes, drying up and leaning against a tube, when Don began. ‘You know,’ he said, ‘the hippies do something they call, ‘skinny dipping.’ ‘That gives them a very free feeling.’ ‘Did you read that, Don’, asked Beverly? ‘Yes,’ he said. ‘They all go in the river and strip their clothes off so they won’t get wet. ‘Wait a minute’ I said, ‘so they won’t  get wet?’ ‘Yes, and then they run around a little and they horse about.’ ‘You should not read about these things, Don, said Beverly, ‘be cool man, you should do them, but never talk about it.’ She looked quite challenging, and turned herself with her back to us.

There stood our Beverly and I knew what she was going to do and she did. ‘No peeping,’ she said. ‘Oh man,’ said Don, ‘this is unreal.’ ‘It's you,’ Richard said, ‘you change the friendship.’ ‘Love is fun,’ said Beverly ‘and fun is free.’ ‘Don,’ I said,’ whatever happens here, we will never talk about it, promise me.’ ‘I swear,’ Don said and began to take off his jeans. ‘What do you think you are doing,’ said Richard, ‘our lady is bathing and you pull your pants off?’ ‘Man, shut up,’ said Don, as he struggled with the wet trousers. Beverly ran off into the water with only her sneakers on, she bent down a little and splashed with her hands on either side of her, some water to her face and then she went to the deeper part. She looked up and said ‘it is really fun, come on.’ Then she changed her voice and said, ‘oh where are my strong men that should protect me against sharks and such and she looked searchingly around herself.


We were all ready and I was the only one that kept my sneakers on. The rest tripped over the slippery rocks to the deeper part where Beverly as a water nymph resided. She got  up and splashed us wet which led to a lot of joyful screams. We embraced each other and pulled Beverly firmly against us and laughed, and we knew that the power of a woman is infinitely greater than what we could ever achieve in our lives. ‘Come on,’ she said, ‘sit down,’ and we sat down. Richard on her left side with her arm around his neck and I to her right with an arm around my neck. It was, and I think I can speak for Richard as well, our first contact with the female beauty in all its splendor. The water splashed along riverbanks and we were far away, unthreatened and blissfully happy. Don was the last to reach us and Beverly said, ‘come on Don, this is fun.’ He looked a little lost, the spots were occupied.

‘Don, come to me, with your back to me,’ ordered our nymph and obviously the slave obeyed, the water goddess. She showed us the way, she led us. She spread her knees and pulled Don with his back to her, against her. Now we were sitting there like a human rock. The water first flowed through our toes and then washed affectionately past us and I knew that later indeed I wanted to live in a commune. A cloud pushed itself in front of the sun and Beverly took the lead,’ before someone gets strange ideas,’ she began, ‘it is better that we go rafting.’

The magic was broken and a miraculous moment came to an end. I had to laugh. ‘What is so funny,’ she asked? I think if someone has strange ideas, it’s you,’ I laughed. ‘That's right,’ she said, ‘right on man, but this is not the right time for that’. ‘No,’ I said, ‘it's a great day.’ ‘You are my men,’ she said, ‘my big boys’. We had not allowed her into our lives and in our circle of friends, no, far from it, we were allowed by her to be near her. ‘And you,’ Don searched for words, ‘you're our big sis.’ ‘Good God Don,’ said Richard, ‘you do have an unfortunate choice of words.’ ‘What would you call me then, asked Beverly. ‘Without doubt’, Richard said; ‘our ladylove.’ ‘Don your pants just fell over,’ I said, and even Don laughed. One of the prettiest and most innocent moments of my life had just passed. I think we were selflessly happy that day, the beauty of it lay hidden in the fact that we had let the opportunity pass. We had chosen for  friendship.


The river flowed on and we had only been a spot in her existence, that ever renewed itself. It took forever to get to the bridge, because even when we could float, we went slowly. It was hours later and perilously close to dinner time that we brought the tubes back to Richard's uncle. We drove each with our own thoughts to Pop’s snackbar. ‘We’ll do this again next week,’ Don said exitedly. ’No, Don,’ I replied, ‘it would not be the same.’ We need to give it a place and keep it in our hearts.’ Beverly looked at me quizzically, you’ve expressed that well,’ she said, I was trying to explain the same but I could not find the words. ‘In seriousness,’ I replied, ‘we should not do it again, this was one of the finest days in my life.’ Well now, that makes me real happy,’ the old voice of Pop sounded behind me. ‘What will it be for the young folk?’

San Daniel 2015

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