Sometimes you just have to let loose and take advantage of what life sends your way. With a free afternoon, and yet another day of blistering heat, when my friend Beth said she was going to a swimming hole I quickly volunteered to accompany her. Although we live across from “The Deeps” (the infamous swimming hole favored by teens) and additional river pools abound in Amity Creek and Lester River, I had never gone swimming in one.
Beth took me to a spot in Lester River less than a mile from our house. Clambering down the riverside, we dumped our stuff on the warm rocks and I followed Beth into the pool. It was very shallow on one side and quickly dropped off to a deep hole on the other. I had expected frigid river water, but to my surprise it was quite warm. We immediately immersed ourselves in the water, which felt so good after the day’s heat. Floating on our backs, looking up into the sky through the green branches of the pine trees was heavenly. It was hard to believe we were really in a city.
Moving up river from the pool, there were some rapids with shallow pools. We deposited ourselves there, waist deep in the flowing water. The hot sun actually felt good as the water swirled around us while we talked and relaxed. By the time we climbed back out of the gorge, I no longer felt hot and bothered. The river had washed all that away.
During coffee hour at church this morning, I mentioned my adventure. As it happens, one couple at our table lives on the Sucker River and told us about the “Jacuzzi Falls” where they like to go. Before long, we had an invitation to join them and by early afternoon six of us were hiking up the river together. We followed the water upstream, sometimes walking the river bottom. Soaking my feet in the river felt oh, so good.
Just as promised, we reached a series of small waterfalls, each with a pool below. It was a popular spot today, but we found one that was unoccupied and soon claimed it for ourselves. It too was fairly warm, making it comfortable to hang out in the water. We took turns bracing ourselves under the waterfall, letting it flow over our heads until the force of the water eventually pushed us away toward the deep center of the pool. It was the perfect respite from the day’s sweltering heat.
I never expected to spend two successive afternoons hanging out in a swimming hole. And yet it’s the most fun I’ve had in ages. Both were spontaneous decisions, and better than any planned activity could ever be. It was enjoyment in the purest sense, entertained by Mother Nature, shared with good friends, and good healthy outdoor activity. What could be better than that? I’m so glad I took the plunge.