I always listened for the creaky gate to swing open. Kids walked or cruised down the steep hill bathed in shadowlight early in the morning. Music roused me as I stumbled to the bathroom, ran a brush through my hair and slipped into a swimsuit. I didn’t bother with shoes. I don’t remember if I said good-bye to my parents.
The stunning feature of my backyard was that just across the street a public pool was tucked into a space surrounded by tall oaks and maples. The rush of the highway nearby kept pace with chirping squirrels and chattering birds. The water was cool and deep. Round tables were adorned with unopened umbrellas and rows of lounge chairs were lined up in silent symmetry.
Swim practice brought shouts and groans and laughter, while meets brought joyful competition. Tears reflected both delight and disappointment. Just making it to the other side was a huge win for the littlest of swimmers. Dreams of glory could not be underestimated.
Romance seasoned the summertime sweetly.
High Point Pool was more than just a swimming pool.
It was a community.
A gathering spot for men, women and children aged 0 to 100.
A place where we learned to dive for pennies and prizes and tested ourselves physically day after day. We trusted and teased eachother. Thunderstorms couldn’t keep us away from a place where for a few months every year, we stayed outside for twelve straight hours and didn’t have a thing to do except play and gaze at the deep blue sky that wrapped itself around us like a warm and gentle cloak.
The scent of summertime is vanishing. You can’t make it stay. Blink twice and the sun has disappeared beneath the horizon, making the day a memory.
This week, Write on Edge challenged us to write with local brands and landmarks in mind. This excerpt revolves around a Falls Church favorite.