We had camped the night at another friend of ours, Angie B, in Waterloo, Alabama. The "B-Spot" as it's coined, is a beautiful camp and RV park right on the shoreline of a small bay just off Pickwick Lake.
Angie B emphatically expressed the necessity of traveling out to Second Creek to receive our Baptism - to help keep us light for our journey. Symbolically, Angie had made a ritual of this place to wash her worries and sorrows away in the ice cold creek, now called "The Holy Water." Piled in the minivan we weaved through the Alabama hills and trees to a road no one living would know.
These are not places you can find on any map or in any book. Only as one immerses himself in these back-corners of America does he find such arcane pockets of unsulliedness.
The Holy Water is located in the center of an old Native American legend, Lover's Leap. The tale tells that 2 lovers, whom broke from the shackles of an arranged marriage, head for the hills to be together at last. Heading along the Second Creek, the women's arranged husband stand waiting up then cliff around a bend. As the couple landed below the spiteful husband he cast a boulder from the bluffs edge to crush the lovers forever in the creek bed. Their spirits converged and tucked themselves back into the caves at the footing of the cliffs, indefinitely to protect and keep love pure in the land nearby.
Upon arrival the site was just as the story told; a big oxbow bend in the creek which opened up to a rock cliff. An enormous boulder sat in the center of the pool. Another larger shard had broken off a few years back during an earthquake exposing deposits of crystal formations. The sight was breath taking. The water was a deep blue green that shone like the sun through stained glass. It ran up to a smooth peddle beach that eventually broke to lush grass flexing gently in the breeze.
My feet broke the surface of the holy water sending chills up the back of my legs and hiking my shoulders up. Gradually I submerged down the sloped creek bed to my waist, and the low temperatures hugged my muscles to the bones for warmth. One deep breath in and I exhaled it all out lunging towards the center.
The pool was deep and my body sunk towards the floor. As the water shocked all around my body I could feel my lungs contract and hear my heart thump hard and slow. My body was electric and still; slowly my eyes opened and thin beams of the sun cut through the crystal clear cobalt pool. Each little bubble of air reflected the light like glittering diamonds. Everything slowed down, sadness died and the world became still. My limbs were numb and I could sense neither good nor bad. My mind spoke no thoughts, it was just calm; at peace. It felt as though I was floating in that pool for a millennia. A feeling of compassion embraced my body as it surrendered into the void.
I'll never forget the moments spent at second creek, and I thank Angie B for taking me to such a sacred place known to such few. There is something special about that water beyond bathing canoe hippies. I may never return to Angie's Holy Water, but I know where to find the spiritual source that freely resides there. That same power can be either everywhere or nowhere. In every grain of sand and closer than your hands. It's up to each individual to find their own "Holy Water." A place on earth or a space inside where you can let go. It's too easy to carry around extra "baggage" and pain, and this extra weight serves us no justice. Rather than suffocating life by clutching, trying to claim new things; unclasp life and give it room to breathe. It will certainly give you more room as well.