There’s an old saying that “You can’t go home again.”
But nowadays with a GPS you can at least find the neighborhood.
“Do you really think this is it?” I asked incredulously as my husband, Bill, and I peered through the rental car windshield. “The place looks deserted to me.”
He gazed up at the rustic building perched on the hillside, the dilapidated steps leading toward it. “It sort of looks familiar, but it’s been more than 55 years since I was here.”
Our car doors slammed, echoing in the 104-degree desert air. If there was a swimming hole anywhere beyond that structure, I planned to be the first one to dive in.
We’d planned to revisit this recollection from Bill’s youth while we were in Arizona; a trip he’d taken from Seligman to Granite Dells with his younger brother and grandpa. The boys — preteens at the time — had spent a day swimming in a vast natural pool of water, jumping off massive boulders and leaping from tall diving boards. The experience had been one he’d always looked back on fondly.
“I think the water is just over this rise,” Bill called as my sandals crunched through the sand and sagebrush in the noon-day heat. Already, I was drenched.
Then suddenly the picture from his childhood came into view. The diving boards, the ladder leading up the side of the bank, the boulder where tanned bare legs had carried him and his brother to the cool water below, all stood before us.
But one thing was missing.
“There’s no water!” Bill exclaimed as his eyes searched the ravine. “I wonder what could have happened?” he sighed.
Still, we snapped pictures and reminisced about the “grandpa memory” he’d had that day so many years ago. Bill even climbed a few steps up the rickety ladder that led to the dive platform, his eyes searching the landscape where nature’s pool and river had stretched forever.
“Are you sorry we came?” I asked as we headed back to the car.
“Not at all,” Bill quickly replied. “Now I have two memories,” he smiled, “and this one is with you.”
I looked back over my shoulder. Maybe you can go home again — just a different way.