Recently, several old photos fell to the floor while I was reaching for something else in my bedroom closet. Why these pictures were loose and not with the rest of the collection, I am uncertain. As I picked each one off the floor and stacked them according to time and location, a particular set of photos got my attention.

The decades-old photos were pictures of a stream near my parent’s home. On the surface, there was nothing significant about these pictures. They were taken during the winter time and did not reveal how beautiful these places could be in the summertime. Honestly, they were not appealing pictures, and most people would have discarded them. So, why had I taken these photos?

Then it occurred to me. These pictures were places where I once played as a child. I had spent untold hours exploring this portion of the stream. Each photo gave rise to a new memory as I flipped from one to the next. However, one was a picture of a rock by a stream which gave me pause.

Now, as an adult, the rock seems so small to me, but in my youth, it was large enough to allow me to lie on it without getting wet. The rock extends out of the bank, sloping down into the waterway. Overhead, low hanging branches shrouds the area making it a relaxing haven.

This place was where I sought refuge from stress, trouble, and heat. Here, I often received solace for my youthful frustrations. By the waterside, I forgot all my troubles and experienced consolation in the refreshing, tranquil atmosphere of this location. Whether it was the sound of the water, the cold surface of the rock, or the private nature of the place, all of it remains special to me.

Of course, I thankfully recognize the spiritual significance of this place and remain grateful for the memories. Additionally, I can see how we all, even as adults, need a place to escape the stresses of life if only for a few minutes. It would be wonderful if we all had a rock by the waterside, but sometimes it’s just a few tears shed in our closet, as we get dressed. Nevertheless, wherever you may find comfort, cherish these places. While they may seem insignificant on the surface, this is where we cast off our burdens and find relief.

More posts by Kevin F. Wishon.