At five in the morning I found sleep elusive, so sat to watch a chicken in the rain. As I toyed with the idea of leaving the barn I had been trying to sleep in, the chicken was toying with the idea of entering the dry of the barn. The only problem with the barn, was that there were about thirty hitchhikers sprawled across the hay inside. Leaving the chicken to deal with it’s dilemma, I ran through the rain for cover in a small cottage where I hoped to find somebody that was awake.
I was at a small farm, somewhere in Lithuania. In the days that had preceded my arrival, I had slept in parks, on beaches, and under bridges across the Baltic states and beyond. I had played with trained rats, herded cows under moonlight, pulled food from bins, and tried every activity I stumbled across as I hoped to make myself a yes person. From one day to the next, I had no plans and life was exciting. But the rain was cold.
The short run through the rain had wet my clothing. I was wearing my loose fitting hippy pants, but burdened by rain water, the red material begun to sag and pull at the elastic waistband. My hoody was wet and for the first time in many days, I was cold and miserable. Despite loving the farm I was at, I was ready to return to Poland and explore more. As a nomad with very little money, I travelled only by hitchhiking. Hitchhiking in the rain was not a good option because the pity that drivers feel for someone at the side of the road is overcome by the lack of desire to pick up someone wet. With the rain as heavy as it was, I could only wait.
A Russian girl I hadn’t seen before, appeared and cooked me breakfast. She spoke no English and we communicated with single words from various languages and with hand gestures. When she disappeared, I felt a little lifted. I looked out at the rain and I decided to overcome my sadness and negativity.
Stripping off all clothing, except for my boxers because I’m English, I walked out into the rain. It was cold and the raindrops were large. They beat down and exploded against my skin. Seconds before, the rain had frustrated me, but as I embraced it, all tension slipped away. If nature itself couldn’t get me down, what could? I strode through the long grass and down to the dirty cow pond. The water was so muddy that you could barely see beneath the surface. A plank of wood had been erected over the water and served as a small jetty. It bowed as I walked on it.
At the end of the plank of wood, I stopped. I looked around me. All I could see, was lush green vegetation. The cow pond was located in a fall in the land and the barn and everything else made by humans was out of sight. Still the cold rain beat down on my skin and before me, the water danced. Taking a large breath, I dove into the water and glode under the surface. It was perfect.
As I rose to the surface, I swam from one end of the pond to the other and back again. Then I rolled onto my back as I lay floating on the surface of the water. The roar of the rain was so beautifully loud in my ears. Each drop contributed to the symphony and sent a little spray of water back up whence it came. Except for spray, I could barely see anything.
In that moment, no-one and nothing could touch me. I was homeless, unemployed, and free from plans. I was as happy as I could ever hope to be. I was free.
There may never again be a moment so pure, so natural, and so liberating in all my life. My dirty cow pond is my place, my free place. I may never see it again, but I captured that moment in the dirty cow pond in Lithuania and hold it deep within my heart to this day.
About the Author: Jamie is a believer. He lives a life in which he searches for adventure and attempts to show that impossible is nothing by overcoming his personal fears and financial restrictions. You can follow him on his website, Great Big Scary World, on Facebook, or on Twitter.