It was a full-moon night in the summer of 1994 in Nederland, Colorado. Two friends and I were walking along the bottom of the recently drained Barker Reservoir.  None of us had ever seen it drained before so this was a great adventure. The reservoir is about two miles long and a half-mile wide.  
As we walked along, one of my friends went on ahead while the other friend and I walked more slowly, deeply engaged in conversation. After a few minutes, the friend that went ahead shouted:  "There are children all around me!" I ran ahead to see what she was talking about. "There are children here! They are holding my hands and holding on to my clothes!" She stood there with her arms outstretched but there was not a child to be seen.

As I got closer, small fingers grasped the little finger of my left hand, startling me. More fingers then latched on to my sweatshirt. Even more little hands started holding the fingers of my other hand and soon there were many hands holding onto my  fingers, my arm and my clothing. I couldn't see anything out of the ordinary. not children and not spirits, but anyone who has had a child, intimately knows the feeling of a three- or four-year-old child's fingers grasping one's own. And that was what was happening here. I felt that I had to walk very mindfully, careful not to step on any of the children.

On the ground where the children began to cling to us, there were about fifteen, slender lodge-pole pine tree trunks (these poles are traditionally used to support teepees), each lying neatly and tightly parallel next to each other. Each was cut to about twenty feet in length. I wondered if they might have been a raft or a bridge at one time. Before the reservoir had been a reservoir, it had been a farm.

My friend and I marveled, our arms outstretched as children clung to every bit of our clothing at about waist level. The three of us walked for another half-mile or so further into the reservoir, with the children clinging tightly to both my one friend and myself the whole way. We eventually decided to head back out of the reservoir. We made our way back to the same spot where we had "found" the children. My friend said to them, out loud "You have to stay here. I don't want you coming home with me!" She and her partner started walking home. I decided to stay there a little while longer - I felt that the children holding my fingers and my clothing were very sweet and I was in no hurry to feel their fingers let go of me.

As my friends walked away, the one that children had clung to said that the children were letting go of her and soon she said that they had all let go. I stayed at that spot for a while wondering about those lodge-pole pines and who these children might be.  I wondered what had been on this spot before the farm. I invited the children to come home with me, if they would like to. As I started walking out of the reservoir and towards home, the little fingers  let go of me, too, one by one until none clutched to me any more. I felt sad but also accepted that they had to do what they had to do. The walk home was melancholy. The physical sensation of those children holding on to my fingers was so wonderful. I reveled in the memories of when my own children had been that small and how I loved it when they held my fingers.
 


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