It is cold here. Bitter, biting winds tug at my clothes and whip my long hair into my eyes. Impatiently I tuck the loose strands back under the baseball hat that I’ve pulled down low to shield my eyes from the bright sunlight. I peer into the window of a café, but it, like all the other shops, is closed. This ‘blink in the road’ place is a tourist town, but this is the off-season. It’s like walking the set of a modern-day western. I imagine tumbleweeds and a gunslinger as a chill creeps up my spine. A sound draws my attention and I see another living human…taking out the trash. Well, I think to myself, I’m not in a bad western, I just have a great imagination. A wooden walkway catches my attention, so I venture off the sidewalk. It leads me to a large wooden sign that says “Riverwalk”. I decide to take a look.
I step carefully down the trail. It is a series of curving steps made of river rock, sand, and timber. In some places I see colorful pieces of broken glass buried in the sand. Green climbing vines cover a rock wall on one side. The trail winds to the left and then turns sharply to the right. As I make the last turn I begin to hear the sound that calls my soul: the sound of flowing water. My step quickens until I come to a clearing. There, in front of me, is the source of the wondrous sound. This river is narrow, only about 20 feet wide, but filled with thousands of boulders of all sizes. The crystal clear water rushes over the smaller boulders leaving swirls and bubbles in its wake. The larger boulders block the path of the water, so it meanders around them. This all creates the gurgling sounds that bring a certain peace to my mind and soul. I sink down on the surface of a cold flat boulder and close my eyes. I drink in the sound and let it fill me. It is warmer here because the trees and boulders block the fierce wind. The sun shines golden rays on my face and I inhale deeply. When I open my eyes, I look up and see a towering mountain that rises up sharply, with the base beginning at the far side of the river. Most of the mountain has trees with sparse green leaves just beginning to open. As my eyes climb, I see bald slabs of granite near the peak. The beauty of it takes my breath away. This feeling, this calm, that I have in this moment, I want to keep forever.
Bad times must happen. We all must have the “down times” in life to appreciate the good times. But for some of us, myself included, the “downs” are sometimes so debilitating they are dangerous. Today I want to write about a good time, a moment to savor, so that I can revisit and remember. There are good times. These are the days worth living for.