As I went about my nightly ritual of getting ready for bed, I turned the bathroom faucet on and let it run for a few seconds, I cupped my hands to catch the cool water to splash on my face. As the water pooled in the palms of my hands a memory came rushing back to me. Something I hadn’t thought of in years.
The farm I lived on in northern Alberta was 160 acres, not big but big enough for a kid to wander and keep their mind occupied. I had adopted a daily ritual of walking around the edges of the farm’s fields which took me about an hour and a half on a day when nothing peaked my interest or I was just wandering for the sake of wandering.
That previous spring a Gas Company occupied our land to build a road at the edge of the bottom field to get to a natural gas well they drilled on our neighbor’s land. I very rarely used the road but one day in the middle of the dry hot Alberta summer I decided to walk the road because I was following a set of bear tracks. The tracks lead down to a ditch filled with water on the far side of the road, thankfully they weren’t fresh. The ditch was about 6 ft. down the side and not visible from the road, I never knew it was there. There was a culvert under the road that came out the far side, water from an underground spring fell into a pool.
The force of the water had formed a natural clay bottomed bowl, it was about 4 ft. deep, 5 ft. wide and absolutely crystal clear! Wow, I was blown away this little bathtub was under my nose all this time and I never noticed it. Thank you bear!
I reached down and cupped my hands and scooped up the cool water splashing it all over my face and neck, washing away the dirt and dust from the dry land that surrounded me. I stood up and took a long look around, not a single creature to be seen, away from prying eye’s and that fucken tin washtub in the middle of the kitchen floor ( we had no indoor plumbing ). I stripped off all my clothes and jumped in! I was in heaven, cool clean water and privacy in my own secret pool, I wallowed around for awhile then reluctantly got out and got dressed knowing my absence for an extended amount of time would be questioned. I was bone dry by the time I hiked back home, no one knew what I had been up too and they would never know, I kept my secret little swimming pool a secret until now.
It was weird how I thought of this pool last night and as I was surfing Facebook this morning I came across a photo of naturally formed pools of water with little waterfalls flowing through them, I couldn’t believe I saw this photo, it was exactly like my secret swimming hole ( except for the forest ), I think it was meant for me to see and I was meant to write about this today. One of the few happy times of my life on the farm.