Maybe it’s because I was born in a bend of an ancient river, a stream that starts as the Yadkin in the mountains and then, as it drops to the North Carolina Piedmont, takes the name of one of the Indian tribes, the Pee Dee, that once populated the area. Maybe it’s because, at the age of 4, I self-baptized by falling into the Pee Dee. Fortunately an adult cousin scooped me out before permanent damage could be done. Or maybe it’s because I still remember so clearly the day when I, a 5-year-old, watched in fascination as my 10-year-old brother, using his pocket knife, two forked sticks, and some sections of dry cornstalk, fashioned a flutter mill in the shallow edge of Cedar Creek. We watched as the clear water sparkled and hustled over the small rocks and turned the wheel, endlessly.