the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing
from the throne of God and of the Lamb from the middle of the street of the
city. On either side of the river is the
tree of life with its 12 kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and
the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. Nothing accursed will be found there.”
Revelation 22: 1-3 (NRSV)
King takes the room as soon as he walks in.
Plaid shirt, blue jeans, they wear like a suit. He is at home in the board room or in the
all energy and explosions - laughter, ideas, movements. He’s on the move.
Always. He’s Muhammad Ali as naturalist.
insurance, keeping his neighbors safe and healthy, writing policy and caring for
loves a good time, out fishing with friends, they tell each other stories.
boy he would step into the waters of Fall Creek, where the men would gather and
was my television,” Joe
says. Fatherless, they became his fathers, his teachers. It was here he heard
stories, his feet cooling in the waters.
The men teaching
about fish, and about life in the city.
with teen-age Cameron on his porch.
Cameron says, “I’m weird.” Joe
says, “I’ve been weird every day of my life,
and it’s a
good thing. Any time you are feeling
sit on my porch and we’ll talk,” doing
now what was done for him.
He’s always close to the waters. It is a member of his community.
Creek is never very wide. No more than 45-50 yards. During the dry of summer it
can slow to a trickle. In the spring and in the fall it
flows. It carries fish and the waste of
our civilization, such as it is.
Fall Creek the waters roll, not the mighty Wabash, not the roaring Mississippi,
just waters that literally, in the past, have fed the people. The men that Joe joined as a boy were
catching dinner. The
living water whose cost and benefit are rarely (if ever) counted.
down by the waters he and I. Every day he steps in the waters. Even now twice a
year he leads a clean up of Fall Creek.
he says, “I talk
to the creek and the creek talks to me and I tell it I will not forsake it.”
whole life he has loved this place, this water. It’s more than H2O to him. The waters
cleanse and heal. They breathe, free,
reveal, teach. Fall Creek was his school, his
home, his grocery store, his bank.
fished the men caught him. Instead of filleting him, they fed him. His
gratitude was for the ways the waters gathered and nourished community.
knows times have changed. He and his
friends (the Dirty Dozen Hunting and Fishing Club) still gather with their
neighbors, young and old, women and men, to feed each other by the waters of