reverb10: [moment]

December 3, 2010

Reverb 10 is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on the year and manifest what’s next: using the end of the year as an opportunity to reflect on what’s happened, and sending out reverberations for the year ahead. There is a new prompt everyday, December 1-31, and it is my goal to offer a reflection each day, beginning today.

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Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

Medicine Falls is an unlikely place to find yourself. The strange, small town is near the Wichita Mountains in southern Oklahoma. It claims to be the definitive American cobblestone community – rightly so, because all of the buildings are made of a round sand-colored stone. The town is situated around a quaint lake, which they call the Bathtub and if you pay an entire two dollars during the summer months, you are allowed to swim in the cool waters.

What most people probably do not know, is it is quite possibly the best two dollars one could ever spend. On a miserable, hot August afternoon, myself and a few friends stripped down to our bathing suits and jumped in. The refreshing water immediately took us to a past-time of country life and swimming holes. In a spirit of exploration, we went past the indicated swimming area, down the river that feeds the little lake. To our sheer joy and pleasure, we came upon what appeared to be a small waterfall. Though it was no more than an eight foot drop, the pressure of the water was enormous. It took all the strength we could muster to force our bodies under the falling water. We would turn our backs on the water, avoiding the slippery algae, and find a rock to lodge in, allowing the rushing water to pelt our heads and shoulders.

This summer was difficult, and the hottest that I can remember in recent history. As my body withered into a small thing over the months, with strength sapped, sweaty and dirty, it was the harsh, cleansing waters of Medicine Park that made me feel so very alive. The loudness of water made it impossible to talk to the girls next to me, and we all held our breath when one of us would get swept under, praying that the power of the water did not hold us there.

To be under the water, having the wind knocked out, and mustering up all my strength to fight the rush, was how I regained my breath in this body and found my alive again.

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