Two Moments*

Water falls down, down over rocks, splashing into a pool below us. Spray douses us, and the mist becomes a rainbow in the Spring sunshine. The sound of the waterfall is deafening, and we shout to make ourselves heard. I tie into the already damp rope and slip into my climbing shoes, doing what I can to keep the soles dry. I check and re-check the knot at my harness, then reach up and grab the first chalked holds. They are dry. I’m cautious until my rope is safely clipped into the first bolt, then I relax a bit. The rock is crisp and dry despite the spray from the waterfall, and soon I settled into rhythm of movement. The roar of the falls, which I assumed would make me a bit nervous, instead causes me to focus on the rock around me. My world is narrowed to the circle of rock around me. Moves flow into one another, and it isn’t until I clip the anchors that the world snaps back into focus.

* * *

Sunlight trickles through the canopy of pine needles. Sounds are muffled by the gentle din of the waterfall. I’m surrounded by green — tall, old trees, some pines, and little seedlings, some only a foot or two tall. The rhododendrons are beginning to bloom, their bright pink flowers a sharp contrast against the shiny green leaves. I’m sitting on a bed of browning needles, back resting against the trunk of old tree, itself resting against the tall expanse of sandstone. The boy is sitting on my lap. He’s been rustling in the layer of fallen leaves below a roof in the cliffline, and they cling to his fleece shirt and his mop of hair. He is quiet now, flipping the pages of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, pointing to the duck and the bird and the cat. Soon enough, the boy’s energy returns, and he’s off, digging in the leaves with a red shovel, and running up and down the trail.

* Work in progress.