The woods were still and quiet in the morning heat. No sounds from the trees except the occasional headbanging of a woodpecker off in the distance. Climbing and moving around to take pictures had brought on a sweat so I sat down in the shade of the stone arch to cool off before leaving on my search for the 9 covered bridges............
There was a small trickle of water dripping from somewhere above. I thought about that as I sat and listened. How long had it taken that water to create this bridge out of solid rock? I listened to the water. More intently..........and I could hear something else now. Children playing? Kids laughing? The splashing of water??!!
I stood up and walked slowly toward the sounds that seemed so out of place here in the woods. Below the stone arch the trickle of water became larger....wider....deeper. It grew into a stream and even what some might call a creek. A little further I walked until I finally could see where all noise was coming from.........a swimming hole with several kids that looked to be from 10 years old or so to maybe 14......splashing around cooling themselves in the heat.
One of the kids looks to be maybe 12 years old and he's diving under the water swimming as far as he can before coming up, gasping for sweet air. I watch him as he swims over to a large stone laying half in and half out of the water. He climbs onto the stone, yells loudly and cannonballs himself into the water splashing as many of the others as he can.
This swimming hole is sacred. It's one of the best places in the world. In the blistering heat of summer it's an oasis. In the long days when school is out it's a time machine....because you see, time really does go faster when you're having the time of your young life. The swimming hole, for that 12 year old kid, is a thing hoped for, it's a destination dreamed about and it's the source of some of the most fun times that kid will have growing up.
And I know that for a fact. I know that for a fact because that 12 year old kid that I just watch cannonball himself into that cool water has a crew cut and I can see a pair of faded and frayed Converse canvas tennis shoes on the bank by the water. I know for a fact how wonderful this swimming hole is to that kid because those tennis shoes with the frayed seams and worn out soles lying on the bank are mine.
And once again I'm watching myself through my mind's eye and I look around and see water everywhere.
Small streams, creeks, ponds, rivers. They are all connected to each other in one fashion or another and they have a connection also with me...........These waters that surround me.