We hiked along Nigadoo Falls and found an off-the-beaten-path swim spot with a gorgeous backdrop of jagged rocks, tall evergreens, a river current and cliff jumpers.
It was a wonderful and refreshing way to spend a Friday afternoon, sharing this cozy private freshwater bowl with a dozen locals.
With his lifejacket on, T explored the area, swimming like a tenacious fish against the current to the rocky base of the falls.
Once he got up on the rocks, the hubby pointed out the water eels slithering on the slippery rocks. T got grossed out and swam out, insisting he was never coming in again.
While T played on the rocks, the hubby and I swam for what must’ve been two hours.
T eventually came back in as we knew he would. The water is always comforting for him.
I felt so grateful this slice of heaven was pretty much all ours to enjoy in this moment of time.
Earlier this week, we explored southern Tetagouche in Bathurst. We hiked downhill towards a scenic riverside area with jagged rocks.
The walk in the sweltering sun was worth it as it took us to a tiny pebbled beach with the gorgeous Tetagouche Falls just steps away.
The water was so inviting that the hubby, T and I were in soon after we arrived.
The hubby and I joined two local boys in climbing up the rocky wall next to the falls and jumping off into the deep dark water below.
What a refreshing adrenaline rush!
T was too short to climb up the jagged rocks and we pledged to take him back when he’s tall enough to climb and jump.
Instead, he busied himself by exploring the shallow river side.
We purposely did not tell him there were leeches in the water – a fat one clung onto the hubby while two baby ones clung onto my toes – because T would’ve refused to go in the water.
I enjoyed standing and watching him explore with abandon. This is what childhood summers are all about, I thought to myself.
When I was younger, just a few years older than T is now, I loved reading a book series written by Peggy Parish, best known for the Amelia Bedelia books, featuring siblings Bill, Jed and Liza.
Every summer, the siblings would stay with their grandparents in the countryside. Inevitably, they found themselves embroiled in a mystery, often set up by their family, that they had to solve.
What appealed most to me about these books were the siblings spent hours, days and weeks out in nature – at a time when there was no Internet, no mobile phones – exploring nature freely and with abandon.
My childhood summers were far less eventful and one thing I often thought about as we began our adoption journey was how much I would love to nurture a love of the outdoors with T.
The hubby and I are very fortunate that T is in his element in the outdoors, enjoying long hikes and swims in the wild.
The vastness and calmness of nature provides a wonderful counterbalance to T’s endless energy.
Our vacation is flying by. We are grateful for the memories we are making with T this summer and thankful for the hospitality of the hubby’s parents. We head home in three days.
As with summer, as with life, every moment is fleeting. It’s a good reminder to live in the present and to enjoy every moment while we can.