"Here we go."
We pulled the car off to the side of the road, a stretch of land upon the Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire. It had been something that Corb had been talking about for some time, and today was the day...a short diversion on the way to Salem for Ashes to make up the basic math test she had been three points away from passing at Orientation a few weeks ago.
Swimsuits on, towels in hand, we made our way from the highway into the brush. A few hundred feet away, we could hear the sound of the roaring river, the shouts of other visitors.
We burst through the brush, to the river on the other side. Dropped down our gear, took off our shoes.
Tentatively, I dipped my feet into the cold water. It was shock, but a good one, a welcome relief from the humidity and heat we had been experiencing. I felt the cool smooth surface of a worn down rock at the bottom of the stream. This stream was full of smooth cool rocks.
Corb, Ashes, and Theo entered with me, too. Step by step, we found our way onto one rock, then the next. Slowly we ventured into the river.
Ashes, the least coordinated of us, gave up first, and lowered herself into the cold water, allowing the power of the downstream to work to her advantage. She quickly built up speed, swept past rock upon rock. Taking her lead, I was the next to get swept up by the current. Together, the two of us left the more hesitant Corb and Theo behind (Corb, so afraid of the water, it was a miracle he had even gone in at all), made our way down the stream, down to a swimming hole where the water was over our heads and we could actually shoot down a brief spurt of falls.
I splash at Ashes, she splashes at me. We laugh and wave at the two guys, so far away from us,
What a feeling. One of the best in the world. Hot day, cool water, nature so free and inspiring.
I could have spent hours there. I wish we had. Such a welcome escape from the world. But soon enough the kids are growing antsy, want to get to Salem, our stomachs are rumbling and...
I am grateful for one brief clear moment of bliss.