When I was younger catching snails and diving down into the stream to grab fistfuls of thick, gloopy, mud was exciting. Every journey through the underbrush to find the perfect spot to sunbathe was a new adventure. The sun soaked into our skin, and when it got too hot we would find shade under a tree, where the sun only peppered the ground with small dots of light, which made it look as though someone had scattered handfuls of glitter throughout the trees. The current was strong, we would jump in and ride it several meters, only to claw our way back onto the muddy bank to do it again. We stayed there till the sun started to drop and left when the shadows grew longer, a group of kids walking along a gravel path, exhausted but happy, wrapped in towels laughing with friends. That’s how I remember the swimming hole, a small bend in the river, only accessible by a small rabbit path through the woods, and my favourite spot to spend my spare time as a kid.
A few months ago we visited the swimming hole. The clouds moved across the sky like a thick grey soup. The sun was only a small glow, fighting to show us its face. As we walked along the tiny path branches clawed at my legs and snagged my clothing. By the time we reached the river bend my legs were covered in small stinging scratches. The water was dirty, and every so often a branch would float past. I stepped onto the bank, and slipped over in the mud, smearing it all up my leg, and onto my elbows. I stood up and attempted to brush off the worst of it with the sleeve of my jacket before it could dry against my skin. Suddenly the sky opened up, and rain fell on us as though someone were sitting up in the trees, pouring bucket after bucket of water on our heads. We ran for cover, huddling and shivering at the base of a tree. After a short time we decided to leave. Sprinting along the small path, roots, thorns and vine grasping at us, begging us to stay like we did when we were young.