Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Finding the Secret Ways

To my great joy, I had a chance over the weekend to go wandering with a friend in the far away green hills of WV. We started out in a state park I was somewhat familiar with. I'd never hiked the trails there before, though, only gone to the main section of the park and the lovely waterfalls there.

This time, we took the trail. The Rhododendron Trail, according to the sign. It was a rocky trail, but wide and easy to follow, at least for awhile. But then we came to a fork in the trail, and then another and another. We chose our direction at these points as we usually do: whichever trail looks narrower, darker, more mysterious, is the one we take. The secret ways, the ones which might lead us out of the ordinary world and into song or story. This one led us right out of the park, I believe; the path was rockier and rougher, and the trees were closer and thicker. The woods were stately and full of wonder, full of dark, shadowy beauty.

Before long, though, we reached a seeming dead-end on our non-path-- a mostly-dry streambed filled with mossy rocks and boulders. The summer has been a dry one. We thought of turning back, but I wanted to push on just a little further. I climbed up on a few of the rocks, wandered out into the middle of the streambed. My friend has a few small problems with his sense of balance, for various reasons, meaning he has problems with heights and climbing. He waited on the shore patiently while I clambered about. From this new vantage point, I could see a beautiful thing-- just a little further upstream, was a small torrent of water pouring down from a high rock face and into the stream. A secret waterfall!

"Can you make it out here?" I called back. "I want you to see this!" And I told him about the waterfall and its beauty. He made his way out to me, carefully, and we stood and watched the beauty of that clear falling water.

I couldn't leave without snapping a few pictures, of course. I climbed a little closer, up the boulders, over the wobbly little rocks. My friend followed me, uncomfortable. I told him he could wait, and I'd just get a few pictures and come right back, but he came with me anyway. As we crept closer to the little waterfall, we noticed that the water was in a deep pool at the base of the falls, and the water glistened on the dark rocks dappled by the sun.

It was truly a beautiful place, secret and quiet, hidden in the green woods. It is a shame one must go so far from home to find these secret paths, for they are the ones I most like to walk.

Woodland adventure to be continued.


clew said...

BEAUTIFUL! I share your enthusiasm for these places. The Husband and I love to go adventuring into forests, caves, and hidden wilderness and we are looking forward to sharing these pastimes with our little boy as he grows up. We moved out of the city last year and now live on the edge of a state park. We take our little family along the wooded paths often and feel blessed that we have such easy access to some of these places now. It takes me closer to God.

Looking forward to the continuation!

P.S. If you and your traveling companion ever make it to the middle of Kentucky I recommend Mammoth Cave. :)

Bainwen Gilrana said...

How I wish I could move away from the city! *sigh* Some day, it shall be so.

I totally agree about feeling closer to God in the woods than anywhere else. I go to church every week, sing in the choir and all, but no church I've ever been in is as sacred as the forest areas.

I've never been to Mammoth Cave, but it's on my list of things to see someday. :-)

Tirithien said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tirithien said...

Sometimes, God is simply where you find Him. The quiet majesty of a woodland chapel, the slow, digniifed flow of a waterfall, bubbling through the rock. Those are where the real holy places are. :-)

Bougie Black Boy said...

Yes, I'm speaking in code. But you know my lingo--just think back to "the days".

I think I find HIM to be similiar to Jewish Eunich and the perfidy spilling on him again, since such postings are being deleted. Something must be done, especially if the "Natural Cant" Can't be with those, such as he, who refuse to be.

We'll talk later. You and Clew are visiting me, when?

Bainwen Gilrana said...

The Natural Cant is understood by some, but not by others. The Spirits of Air and of Water have made their feelings known. The Irish girl will not cross the desert with one who cannot hear their sweet song; better she should be alone than that. The nastiness will not spill again.

Yes, Stevie, I understand the code.

Naneth said...

My friend went to Mammoth Cave. She said there are some very tight places to squeeze through, but she enjoyed every second of it. And she took the "easy" tour!

Every time we went to KY as a child, I begged my father to stop, please, and let us go through the cave. The one time he stopped, I was so excited! was because my grandma was traveling home with us and offered to buy lunch. I believe he stopped there of all places as a cruel joke. I had my hopes up so high, and he pretended not to notice the tears of hurt and disappointment rolling down my face as we got back into the car.

I will go there someday. It is high on my life's "To Do" list! I agree with Clew, do go to Mammoth Cave; and if I may add, do it while you're young (and flexible! Ha ha!)

Naneth said...

My apologies! I should not whine about things that happened so long ago on your blog! Please forgive me.

I will begin again.

I agree with Clew that you should visit Mammoth Cave. What fun! Take me with you?!?!

Bainwen Gilrana said...

Whine as much as you like. :-) You wouldn't be the first to do so.