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What Was She Looking For?

January 2004

When I was a teenager growing up in small-town New Hampshire, my friends and I used to enjoy "skinny dipping" in a beautiful old quarry out in the middle of the woods. The quarry was on private property, and we weren't really supposed to be there, but we knew the owners, and also, because the land was flat, we could always hear if someone was walking up the path in time to make our getaway.

One day, four of us, two boys and two girls, were enjoying a nice midsummer swim in the buff. Jen and Eddie had swam off a little ways into the middle of the quarry, and Andy and I were still fairly close to "shore." Suddenly, Andy and I noticed that a woman was standing there. She was in her late thirties with curly brown hair. Her clothes seemed kind of hippyish-sixties--this was the early nineties. We hadn't heard her walking up the path, and she was no one we recognized. Her eyes were intently searching the ground for something.

We were shocked, and a little embarrassed to be caught with our clothes off. Andy politely said "Hi." The woman looked up and smiled at us just long enough to say "Hi." Then she went right back to looking around on the ground. Andy and I turned and looked at each other with our eyebrows raised, as if to say "What do we do now?" Seconds later, when we turned back toward the woman--she was nowhere to be seen. Even stranger, Eddie and Jen, only twelve feet away, hadn't seen her at all.

Who was she and what was she looking for?

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