Monday, February 18, 2013

The Pond

When I was 11 we lived in a house on a busy street. We had moved from a neighborhood full of kids, to a house with only one easily accessible neighbor.  Luckily they had three kids.  The kids were a couple of years younger than me, but they were the only available option.  Behind our two houses the yards ended in a wooded area.  Parts of it were muddy and wet, and we took to calling it "The Swamp".  I remember the neighbor boy Richard getting stuck in the mud once, and when I pulled him out, his boots got left behind.  We weren't really supposed to play in those woods as they were someone else's property, but we couldn't seem to stop ourselves from going there.  After the swampy area the woods became even thicker, and one day while we were exploring we came across three trees that had been knocked down.  One of them showed a burned area just down from what would have been the top of the tree if it was upright, and we surmised that lightning must have struck the tree.  We climbed up and walked along the trunks of the trees like they were bridges through the forest, and at the end we made a wonderful discovery.  The trees had been growing so close together that their roots were entertwined.  When the middle tree got hit by lightning, it brought the other two trees down as well and as they were uprooted, they brought a tall wall of earth along with them.  The wonderful discovery came when we walked around to the other side of that wall.  Where the roots had been had left a large empty hole that was filled with water.  It was like a hidden, magical kingdom to us.  We spent hours there, watching frogs and other small creatures.  We imagined ourselves in another world, and it became a place of refuge and peace for me especially.  Now that I am a grown up, I know that I shouldn't have been sneaking off to the pond.  I often went there by myself, and if anything had happened to me my parents wouldn't really have known where to look, but I didn't want to give up such a secluded place that seemed like it was just for me. There are times that I wish I still had a place like that to escape to.  For now, I remember it in my head, and it is still beautiful.


Yvonne said...

What a lovely memory, Heff. Like your own little Narnia ; ) It is so cool that you are writing this down. Write now I am in the middle of typing Allan's history (for his 70th birthday in August) It is such a fun thing for me--to read all of his memories. I am so glad he has written so much of it down. (Must admit, it is taking a whole lot of time and doesn't give me a lot of time for things like FB ; )

Have a great day, Heff.

Nancy Face said...

I live in the same neighborhood where I grew up as a child. Nearby there are large and deep irrigation canals. They are dangerous places, and definitely not for children to play around, but I DID play around them when I was growing up. I would sneak down the hill to the canal and spend hours catching minnows. Sometimes I would go with a friend, and sometimes alone, EEEK!

I can't believe nothing bad ever happened to me! Sometimes even adults drown in those canals because of the strong undercurrents! I never allowed my own kids to play there. But I sure had fun when I did!

Deena said...

What a great memory. I would like to have my own secret place too.