It wakes me like a fever dream. Not with fear, but bewilderment. I always know, the moment that I land, that this is the same dream, the same warmth, wriggling between the cottonwood and willow leaves, dancing across Rags, Bella and me. I know this is the place in which we should bury our roots. I know this place speaks of how surely Nature will have the last at-bat, in this brutally long game against humanity.
Just as surely, I know that the kids who frequent the lush, quiet, magical swimming hole in this brook are the heroes of this story. They are of that small fraction of humanity who will come out the other side of this game to try again, to hopefully do things differently, working with Nature, rather than against her.
The fragrance of dark, eternally wet soil, of detritus from a hundred seasons, swirls and twists in a river of air, redolent with newly bursting lilac and nearly gone linden flowers, dappled with cottonwood resin. Boys, who thought they had the hole to themselves, nod acceptance as their sisters appear at the creek bank. Each, unsure in their bodies and equally sure that the freezing water will make them scream, secretly covets the place as their own.
So this place, this dream, swirls in my soul, an elixir for the ills of corporatocracy and male domination. A glance at Rags and Bella tells me that this place has soothed them as well. All it took was an unassuming stream and a bunch of kids who barely noticed our presence.