The first time I realized that I couldn’t live without a healthy dose of nature (most all of the time), was when I was 9 years old. Our family and our close friends discovered a waterhole, a playground for water lovers, an oasis for play on the rocks and snowmelt rivers, just outside of our campsite, outside of Yosemite. We ended up calling this sanctuary, ‘Raging Waters.’ It was a wonderland of natural pools, and perfect for anyone who loved water and rocks. There was a slab baked slide (roughly 45 degrees) that we could splash water onto for us to slide right into a deep perfectly carved out pool, which set about 10 feet deep. The waterfall across the way left you yelling loud, for anyone to hear you, and it’s torrential water power would flow into this same pool where the slab of rock spilled into. The waterfall was strong enough to knock the wind out of you, but soft enough to swim underneath, only to find yourself challenged to dive deep enough, so you could greet the falls from the other side. There was a comfortable seat that rested behind the raging falls, leaving you in a moment to feel quiet yet rejuvenated from the power of the falls blasting in front of your face, just inches away. The feeling of satisfaction permeated into your skin and adrenaline of survival was so rewarding, this swim was addicting. Your laughs would emanate through the echo of the power of the water and your families voices muffled through the cackle of the falls. Now this was a whole new world of what FUN meant.
As we sprawled out on the rocks, swimming from one pool to the other, jumping from rock to rock, and warming our bellies from the sun kissed granite rocks, I remember lying there, my bronze tan getting a mountain shade darker, and my blond streaks almost turning white, I had this feeling of warmth. This feeling of contentment and satisfaction that I was in a really safe place filled my soul. I was in a place that was energetically giving back to me and I felt as if I was giving back to it. Was this the feeling of loving the earth, the earth loving me and all that it had to offer?
I remember not wanting to leave. It was my new safe place, my fun place, a place where I felt present. Nothing else mattered, nor distracted me other than my plan to jump from one rock to the next.
Years later, my family tried to go back to this sanctuary, only we were never able to find it. To this day, I am determined to go back to ‘Raging Waters,’ and to say hello to my special place and tell these pools, thank you.
Thank you for planting the seed for me to soak up the beauty that this planet offers. And I promise to take good care it you….