Lee Falls, revisited

Five years ago, almost to the day, Mr. Ables and I hiked to Lee Falls.

Around that time, there’d been some big talk about getting engaged.  He’d been back from teaching English in Prague for about four months (the whole “when you know, you know” thing was true for us), and I guess I thought the time was at hand.  A hike to a waterfall on a beautiful spring day? Sounded proposal-worthy to me.

This made the walk to the falls, for me, a blur of nerves. I kept thinking that on the hike back, I’d be just a bit different than the person I was at the moment and how do you fake that level of surprise and I hope I wasn’t too sweaty: big stuff like that.

At the base of the falls, Mr. Ables took some pictures of me (before the ring shots?), and then quietly rummaged around in his backpack. He turned to me, looked deeply into my eyes with his hand extended:

"Do you want to split this granola bar with me?"

Relief flooded my entire being. We were just on a hike not on The Hike.

He proposed the next week on a park bench, catching me completely and totally by surprise.

…………….

But, this weekend:

we hiked to Lee Falls again.

It was lovely.

I love my family, I love the woods. I love this season and This Season.

As per usual on our outdoor jaunts, I thought every twisted root was a snake about to strike and I fell a few times. A new anxiety were ticks, which a few guys were nice enough to warn us about at the trailhead (“I’ve picked off like 15!” then proceeds to pick off another one)—I was a twitchy mess of Momxiety, but hike we did.

I don’t have the right words, I guess, because it wasn’t “a hike,” it was more of an immersion in color and light and spring and…all of this: