It was the one place we were not to go. Go anywhere. Just don't go there, they said.
Why not there? we asked. What's so great about there? we wondered.
The bigger kids go there. You don't need to be hanging out with them. Go anywhere but there.
Why do the bigger kids go there? we asked. What's so great about there? we wondered.
Just don't go there. Now go.
We could go anywhere. Anywhere, that is, but Kramer's Falls. For the longest we went everywhere but there. Months even. Up and down paved roads, by each other's homes, by other people's homes, the long way, the short way, this side and that. Sometimes we would ask again, Why not there?
Because we said so, was the reply.
We began talking to each other about there, without because we said so around. Then we would go there and stand at the entrance. It was down a dirt road by a house of someone we knew. Just to stand there felt wrong, what if someone we knew told? We'd chicken out. Turn around and go everywhere else but there.
We soon became more brave. We would go just a little piece down the dirt road, past the entrance into the woods where the road became a path. Then again we would get scared and turn around. And again we would go everywhere else but there but everywhere else got boring. We had already been everywhere else but there again and again.
We got frustrated with everywhere else but there. As time passed our curiosity grew. What was there got better. Was it a swimming hole? Did they have a bank we could slide on, a rope to swing? What was so great about there? Would it be so great that we would never want to come home? Even for supper, that great? Why else could we not go there?
We got further and further down that road onto that path. Before long we only went there, nowhere else but there. Until one day the further we went finally got there. The path which had long since become a trail finally ended and there was it. Here we were. It. Us. There was nowhere else to go. We looked for something else, some place better than everywhere else. There was nothing.
No place better than everywhere else.
Grateful for the presence of early lessons even if I wasn't listening.