Maybe there is a creek in the mountains of northern Vermont that you have been trying to get back to for most of your life. Maybe you were boldly splashing around in it with your thirteen-year-old feet when a silent nest of hornets decided to teach you a lesson. Maybe you spun like a top, twisting your spaghetti arms out and up while your voice rose like a kettle. Maybe you slipped on the "broccoli rocks" that your father always warned you about, belly-flopping down onto wet worn flint that pierced your eggshell chest and knocked the July wind up and out of you, forcing a reverence that only violence could elicit from a boy with three sisters.
Maybe you heaved in water and heaved out nothing, filling and filling, almost giving up there, your chest broken, your back stung, your eyes wide and dancing like the water striders you could never catch. Maybe you envisioned the summer's end; an 8th grade gateway opening up to all the horrible worldly complications awaiting you: girls, money, alcohol, cancer, the internet. Maybe you pictured yourself sinking into the mossy bed and returning as pine years from now, looming over the creek, taller than your father.
Maybe you will go back there because you want to see what progress has done to that place that tried to kill you. Or maybe you hope to be stung again, having never since felt so alive.