This little stream is special to me. In fact, I wrote a song about it—Little Stream, in the EarthSongs collection. Years ago we lived nearby, and many a morning I took the short walk to sit on the bank beside it, to listen to its song, to calm and center myself. It was my friend.
About 10 years ago, long after we moved to Pine Point, I developed a bad case of tinnitus, and came back to the stream to record its music. With its soothing sound, I was better able to ignore the noise and fall asleep at night. I also learned I could sometimes write better while the stream sang in the background, and to this day often put the recording on while in my writing office.
Today I came back, and found my old friend in a state of excitement, bank-full, tumbling toward the Mississippi and its rendezvous with the sea. Sitting beside it, awash with the sights and sounds and smells of moving water, I was reminded of the many wild rivers I have explored and paddled for so many years, thousands of miles away in the bush. And I was reminded of the words to a song I wrote, long ago.
There’s a little stream that flows, down a wood I’ve come to know,
I greet her in the morning like a friend.
I come to listen to her song as she swiftly rolls along,
Laughing as she slips around the bend.
There the killdeer calls his name and the jay-bird does the same;
Heron stands his vigil on the sand,
And I stand my watch as well where the rose and dogwood dwell,
To feel their benediction on the land.
Little stream, I can still hear you calling
Though my footsteps may take me far away,
Through the seasons you’re rising and falling;
Young and old each new day, you move along but you stay,
And I thank you for passing my way.
When Orion rules the night, and the geese have taken flight,
And winter holds me in his icy hand,
I feel I’m lost within that wood where I once so gladly stood,
I’m frightened and it’s hard to understand.
The night is cold, the night is long
And I wish for summer’s song,
Doubting that the sun will rise again,
Then beneath the ice and snow, I hear a gentle voice I know,
You’re not alone, come sit with me, my friend. Little Stream, I can still hear you calling…
There’s a river deep and wide and we hurry to her side;
My stream is swept away without goodbye.
She hears the calling of the sea, and her answer sets her free,
She’s part of all that flows and so am I.
*Little stream, I can still hear you calling…