We called it The Pond because it was so prominent in our minds it needed no suffix, no descriptor, and no clarification. The Pond was where I learned to swim, it was a place where I could scavenge twenty earth worms to fish with in under ten minutes and it is the reason mushy lake bottoms don’t bother me. Biking to the pond for a lily-tangled swim on a hot summer day is a stronger memory than k-12 collectively. This is because the pond was my place. It was my place of adventure when I tried to walk from it’s wooded shores to my best friend (and neighbors) house half a mile away. It was my place of celebration when I spent every birthday cooking out on its cool sandy beach. It was my place of rebellion when I spent high school nights skinny-dipping with friends. It was my place of exploration as I fished, foraged, climbed, and investigated it’s water and shores.
Despite now living 2,000 miles from this place I call home, I can still smell the scent of wet soil under decaying fall leaves. I can still feel the roots of big oak trees under my feet as I did years ago running down the path to cool water. I can still hear the cattails swaying in the wind, creating the illusion of creatures hidden within their forest. The memories of this place live within me; the pond is and will always be the place where I live.