The Girl

by Jackie Van Dyke

My mother grew up on the water. As a little girl, she played at its banks, watched the water change with the seasons and celebrated spring's return. As she grew, she recognized the animals that depended on the river for food, those that flew overhead, hopped about and that swam in it. She grew stronger swimming in the river's current like the very fish that she caught and fed her.

She was the girl that became the woman who taught her girl who became the woman who taught the girl to love the water.

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Photo by jackie van dyke

I was the girl who rode her bike with her fishing pole to the neighborhood pond then rode back to the house to get my mom to take the hook out of my bullhead. My mom lovingly showed me how to cut the line. She told me I could carry her small pocket knife with me if I promised to be careful. Although I was soon downgraded to a plastic hook remover after she saw me trying to balance my rod on my bike during the ride home.

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Photo by jackie van dyke

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