Friday, July 24, 2009

One heartbeat

Multnomah Falls, Columbia River Gorge

Up. Up. Up. A steep incline. A trail covered in ferns and mosses. Maple & oak shadows on rocks. Light filters through the pines. Warming me. Soft, gentle sun highlights the almost florescent green foilage. Switchbacks. Round corner after corner. The top of the falls nears. My son and I talk about shaping our lives. Perseverance. How it all starts now. This day. This moment. Who we are with every step. Every hill.

Pounding forward. Stepping. Building.

At the top, we breathe. Cool mist on our cheeks. A beautiful view of the Columbia spread out along the horizon. A lone pine tree stands right at the eruption point of the falls. Tall & proud. Roots exposed, its soil long eroded. How long will it last before gravity yanks it down? Have faith. Faith in strong foundations and solid ground. Hearts of gold.

Easy hike down. The joy of observation. Sunlight ignites the waterfall in late afternoon. My daughter smells wildflowers. Spots tiny, wild strawberries. A caterpillar. Baby snake. Most interesting find: a tough, predator bug pulling a spider up and under his rock. He tries. Pulls with all his might. The spider falls. He tries again. Again. And again. Like the pine standing tall. Like my son on the trail. Like all of us in life.

One step forward. One breath. One heartbeat.

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