Early summer about thirty years ago, I experienced my first Sandhills river morning while dipping a pan of water from the Lumber/Lumbee River. The water was so dark. I remember having dipped it for perking coffee my father and uncle would drink. It looked like a free flowing coffee lovers dream already. I eased the pan down to the surface as I leaned over and dipped the pan in and quickly up. I was amazed at how crystal clear it was in the pan! It was magic to a young girls eyes. I tried again I think twice more to get that dark water in the pan that I saw all around me.
I love that meandering coffee cup and the spell it had on me that day, and I love it for all the memories it gave me, that I will cherish always. It is the place I learned to swim. It is the place I learned to distinguish a water moccasin from a peice of driftwood swimming in the dark water. It is the last place I went fishing with the great men of my life, my father, my uncle Ray, my husband and father in law. It is where I go still when I need to retreat from the world. It may be at different points on the banks, but it is always the same peace of mind when I have left it’s side.
John Charles McNeill wrote of similar feelings concerning the terrapin and drifting foam. I too will forever remember my first morning in the dark water with sandy feet I will always call home.