There I stood again at that strategic spot in the road, where Possum Hollar and Rabbit Skin Gap converged. It would be decades later when I would finally discern that it was not where I was but what I was experiencing there that was important.
I thought I was merely on the way to the lake to submerge myself in the cool waters but I was in actuality immersing myself in the essence of that which was the chi of me.
I was young in earth years on this go around and quite impulsive. I questioned all that I saw and heard and authority bore its weight on me like the old knapsack I carried on camping trips. The smell of honeysuckle and the feel of the summer breeze that blew across my freckled face was the only voice of God that I needed or wanted.
By August my feet were toughened from the heat of the pavement and the resistance of the multitude of pebbles and the old holey and holy shorts were so soft and comfortable that there was no need for the encumbrances of underwear. A shirt was only donned when taking a short cut through a briar patch and then when all was clear removed with haste and tucked in the waistband where it hung down like a prehensile tail.
When I made to that big rock at Lindsay Mill, I threw off all my clothes and leapt into the vast unknown and hollered at the top of my lungs a prayer of pure unadulterated joy that continued until I was enveloped by the waters. I now realize that I made God laugh a lot in those days.
And I now see the real me is in the heart of that boy. I didn’t know it then but he would become my hero now that I can see him for who he was. He was free and I am free because of him.