In a recent live chat in MS Buddy, Kathy Regan Young, MS Buddy Guide, asked buddies to share one of their happiest Memories- this an expanded version of what I shared :
There is a pretty waterfall, surrounded by lush deciduous forest. Construed amongst all this green is a rust tinged, tannin rich pool of water. A wide waterfall plunges over a bed of rocks bordering the pool. Through childhood this was a summer oasis we hiked to. A decent day hike, it was at least three miles descent into a verdantly treed, and mica strewn trail. Humid mist surrounds you- you drink the water in through your skin. When I meditate I imagine walking down that trail, the feel of my feet stepping on uneven rocky dirt, pushing off effortlessly and propelling me forward. The trail takes you past a small creek with white beaches. Then progressing through high rhododendron that forms a tunnel around your path you begin to hear the tingling sound of falling water. I remember the way that sound pricked my ears. It must have been something deeply evolutionary- the sound of running water, the draw to follow it. The excitement quickened in me every time I heard that musical siren song- badeing me, come partake of my flowing water for it offers you the thing you must desire- your essence is made of my waters, I beckon to your cells- they need me, their thirst is of me- come to me.
The path opens into a clearing with that rusty deep brown pool. A symphony to fill the senses of sight and sound- the reward is water falling in a forever changing pattern over micahed rock- sparking when hit by sun and water. I always treasured the way water made rocks exceedingly more beautiful. Dry their surface is dull, but wet they sparkle with a gleam with only the beauty water can bestow.
My current condition, after my last Multiple Sclerosis relapse has left my legs and arms tingling, with a novicane numbness that does not, has not worn off. In this state I will most likely be unable to make the hike there- walking a mile is pretty much my limit- and that is a victory that I don’t achieve often. But I go there in my mind. My parents blessed me by taking my brothers and I there often- so the connections existing in my brain are well traveled enough that I can close my eyes recreate the scene.
This is the path where my husband first proposed marriage to me, after I had already had MS for a few years but was well enough to make the hike. I remember how he stopped me. My parents were further down the trail and he said he was thinking about something. That was how he had asked me to prom years before- told me he was thinking about something to preface, waiting for me to ask- “What are you thinking about.” The first time it was “will you accompany me to prom?” This time it was “Will you be my wife?” We didn’t tell anyone then. We were still pretty young, and not financially ready to marry- because we needed to be able to get me insurance. I was on my parents plan and I needed to stay on that plan for regular MRIs, neurologist visits, and any medication I might need. Insurance was vastly important- marriage had to wait, but we pledged ourselves to one another.
Our family dog Beth, an Australian Shepherd mix, black with grey stripes that I had found in my neighborhood when I was 12, plodded along with us, herding us- running forward to check the way is clear, coming to check on each one of us and staying behind for a moment before running to the head of the line again to repeat the process.
My family, my dog, my husband to be, and the mountains I grew up hiking in all make Schoolhouse Falls a haven to visit whenever I am in need of restorative waters to run through the channels of my damaged brain. My hope, my prayer, my belief is that the damage can be reversed and I will once again walk towards those waters, this time taking our children to swim and splash in rust colored water- hopefully it beckons to them as it does me.
Thank you for sharing in the happy memory of this place with me. Please comment below and feel free to share a restorative happy memory of your own. 😊