I just awoke from a dream in which I was intensely longing to be at a certain pool fed by the Saranac River that I had stumbled upon during my days in Plattsburgh. The pool was tucked into the woods, had no path leading to it.
Someone had told me there was something interesting in that certain patch of forest, and one day I went walking alone. Following their general directions, I came upon a beautiful cerulean pool carved by a small stream out of white rocks. There was a small outcropping of the white rock on the southerly side. Everything was dappled by the sun, the forest around it an amazing green. I was in awe. I could not believe my luck at finding such a beautiful and quiet place.
I sat by its waters and eventually swam. The water was perfectly clear and blue and cool. I could see the rounded white rocks, blue on the pool floor.
I do not know how long I stayed. I do not remember leaving.
When this pool has crossed my mind since it’s discovery all those years ago, It never occurred to me to question it’s existence. It was there. I saw it’s unfathomably blue surface and slipped in. I sat on it’s white, sun-bleached rocks in that cool green forest and felt blessed to be there with my thoughts. I deeply loved that secluded and peaceful place. It made my aloneness at the time something right and beautiful rather than painful and lonely. It restored me.
When I woke today, I realized the truth.
This pool exists only in my dreams, only in my mythology. When I had remembered it in the past, I was remembering a strong and beautiful memory.
If it was there, why did I never find my way back? Why did I not show a friend who would have loved it’s waters as much as I? I walked the banks of the Saranac many times, with many people. Surely we would have found it again. We were not ones to always stay on the paths.
I have often felt a longing for the pool and gone back in my memory. It must have begun as a lovely and necessary dream that has never left me. A dream so real and immediate that it’s existence does not depend on topography. It depends on love and memory, for by loving it’s sweet blue waters and remembering the warmth of the sun on it’s rocks I call it to existence when I am in need of a restorative bath.
I believe that we all have our pool, our place of peace and restoration and maybe loneliness, hidden in the forests of our personal and mythological topography.
Cool and sun dappled, it quietly awaits our next visit. Perhaps God is there waiting to cleanse and restore you, perhaps the waters are all you need. But it is there, and it is very real. We only need to love and to remember… there is no path, but we will find it.