It is one of those Shoot-I-am-just-so-thankful-moments.
It. Is. A. Wow. Moment.
A Creation Moment. A Bigness Moment. A Life Is So Damn GOOD Moment.
All the little logistics don’t matter. In this moment, life is as good as it gets.
Mountain trails and rivers will do that to me, from time to time.
‘Bout knock me over with their awesomeness.
Light on the trail, filtering through layers of branches that hold bright green leaves above.
A protective canopy hiding our path. Our Sunday-Afternoon-Adventure.
Just Me, Dad and Henry (the fluffy dog that might as well be another sibling).
Sticks crack and the path soaks up our weight as we skip down toward the Falls.
My Dad and I have always walked fast. Long legs, big stride, I guess. It is a Bates thing.
I’ve made that excuse before when asked to slow down… “Sorry, it is just a Bates thing.”
And I love being a Bates.
Even with our brisk pace, I am taking lots of details in. Locking them to memory. Sealing them for future reflection. There are lots of mountain trail moments. Memories of adventures.
I feel my breath, the crisp air. I smell those unique mountain smells and I hear the predictable, almost rhythmic sounds of Dad and Henry marching along behind me.
Henry, the border-collie-mixed–with-something-much-much-bigger, wishes we would slow down.
But we don’t pause, we continue to hike and chat away.
In reality, this means that I ramble while Dad listens.
He has always been a great listener. A wisdom-giver, whenever I stop talking.
I bounce ahead reflecting out loud on the past, gushing about the present and dreaming about the future. In this moment, the world feels like it consists of just the three of us and this mountain trail by the water.
We’re goin’ toward Rainbow Falls. Toward Turtle Back. Toward Drift Falls- locally known as “Bust Your Butt” (for real good reason, too). To get feet wet and sit by the water and enjoy a Sunday afternoon.
And after soaking up the sun on rocks, bein’ lizards… I slide down the freezing and fast water way and feel alive when I feel my breath momentarily taken away. The drop and splash into the water below gets your attention.
We hike our way back up the trail and head toward home. Dad smiles and says casually over his shoulder, “This is why it is good to have you home.” And I know exactly what he means.
All of this.
“This” sums up the afternoon. All of this laughter and adventure and honest-conversation-time and these wisdom moments. The building memory moments. The hiking and water splashing and laughing-Henry-coomme-onnn-buddddy-moments…
This is what we love to do on a Sunday. And sharing in THIS is why I am home right now.
And I have never felt more thankful for This.
With love from the mountains,