Blue skies filled with puffy, white, thick clouds high in the sky. The sun beating down warm upon my skin. The smell of nature all around me. The sounds of birds in nearby trees, chirping and singing their songs. I walk down the path that leads to the creek where the cold water runs with a pail in my hand. I step over stones buried deep in the earth on the path. The wind blows softly as a sound whistles through the trees. Ahhh. I long for the cool air but it is temporary on my skin. I step a little fast toward the creek where I know the cold water runs. I’m close. I can hear the water rushing in the distance. I think of the dark, cold water buried under a mountain of leafy green branches. The overgrowth of branches and leaves keeps the cold sanctuary dark, hidden from the sun. Before the creek’s path is soft, moist, dark mud which makes it dirty as you step upon it. You have to be careful. The path, of course, is man made so there pieces of wood to step upon to keep your feet dry. As I make my way into the path I know the hot sun will fade upon my skin and the dark cool air will be gladly welcomed. I skip a little faster. I think of the large boulder next to the creek where I will sit. It is where, periodically, the sun peeks in through a clearing of branches above. The sweat from the back of my neck rolls down my back as I inch closer to the cold creek. Now the sound of the rushing creek is louder. Finally, I’m under the dark branches. So much cooler. I watch my step as the path is filled with mud, branches, rocks and earth. It is only a short ten step walk under the branches. I feel my body cool as the shade hits me. I stand momentarily at the awe of the rushing waters, watching it move gracefully, effortlessly. So grateful. I bend down and release my pail onto the ground. I reach my hands into the dark, cold water. Perfect. I’m amazed of how water can run so cold while I am so heated by the sun. It’s amazing. It never changes temperatures, it remains cold, even in the hot sun. It only takes fifteen seconds before my hands become uncomfortable in the cold water. I pulled my hands out of the water. I sit in silence, alone and listen to the water run smoothly over rocks and underground growth. I never wonder where the water starts from or where it goes to. I’m just grateful that it’s there. I begin to feel the heat rising once again in my body, so now is the time for my pail. I reach over and pull it toward me, holding its handle. As I dip the pail into the cold water, I hold it firmly with both hands as I feel the rushing water filling the pail. I must be careful not to fill it completely or I won’t be able to lift it. I stand as I pull the pailful of water onto the ground, I’ve filled it half full. Good. So now it’s time to brace myself and firmly plant my feet onto the earth, spreading my legs and making sure I have good footing. I breathe in, I breathe out. I bend my knees and reach down for the pail’s handle. I lift it with both hands, knees bend, back arched forward. I breathe in again. I lift the pail over head and with as much as strength as I can, I tilt it. The cold water from inside the pail rushes over my skin and my head as I take a deep breathe in as the cold water revives me. “Wooo!” Is all you can hear in the forest around me. I keep the pail tilted under all the cold water is upon me. Finally, when the last drop is done I release the pail onto to the ground and grasp my cool wet head. Water is dripping all around me. My head is completely cold. It almost feels frozen. But I know this is only temporary. With both hands I begin to squeeze the water out of my hair and I continue squeezing, my fingers grow cold. Finally, there are only drops of water dripping from my hair. I stand up straight, fingers cold, dripping water as my shirt begins to soak it in. And now it’s time to bask on the large boulder. So I push away the trees and branches next to the path and make my way onto the rock. The rock sits in the water and has a large flat surface. Finally, as I slip my shoes off, I am on the rock. I make myself comfortable. I notice the sun is hidden under the thick white clouds, so I wait. I close my eyes in silence, listening to the birds and rushing waters. I begin to feel a chill from the coolness of my now wet hair. Please hurry sunshine! I’m cooling down. I ask. I breathe in and inhale the fresh air. I start to feel the sun creeping up on my feet that are stretched out in front of me. Ahhh. The warmth of the sun is welcomed once again. Every second the heat grows inching up to my ankles, my knees, my belly area, my neck and finally my whole body is warmed again. It seems that the break in the trees are just perfect for the this boulder to be exactly where it is. It was made just for me. So that I could enjoy the hot summer days and have a spot to cool off when I needed it. It was perfect. It was heaven for a kid like me. A kid who had very little but had so much at the same time. I had nature and nature had me.
I just wanted to share this with you because it was one of my memories as a child, I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Thank you for reading.