At the waterfall, we let the hours slip by as we followed the flowing water down the mountain. Hopping over the rocks, we smiled and laughed, challenging each other to stone skipping contests in this little piece of forest we had to ourselves . . .
It was a frigid winter day when we hiked to one of Shenandoah National Park’s most famous waterfalls, White Oak Canyon.
This is our home. This is where we feel most comfortable — where the sun and moon shine together and where colors are at their prime. This is where the world stands still but also blurs by and we grasp — keep trying to grasp — that moment where we, too, can freeze in time.
Heading back, I remember thinking, “It will be strange if we don’t see a black bear” so I paused, almost willing their camouflage to disappear, for them to be seen, and it was then a black bear appeared on my right.
The farther we hiked, the more comforted we were in being alone. After forging the river, we had the forest to ourselves. We felt like children, darting across and splashing in the water, jumping on rocks, laughing. Life was innocent, light, carefree — another magical quality of forests.