Sunday, April 9, 2017


Years ago, while hiking in Shenandoah National Park, our party stopped to enjoy a waterfall and the pool it conveniently flowed into, almost like a water slide. My older nephew put his glasses on a rock to keep them safe, but somehow in all our splashing and sliding, his glasses were knocked off.

I remember that moment like it was in slow motion: first the glasses jumped up from the blow, and when they landed just a bit closer to the edge, they had lost their purchase and so plummeted into the pool. I plummeted after them, and wading as quickly as possible to where that tiny splash had appeared  I plunged my arm to the sandy bottom below and was miraculously rewarded by the unmistakable feel of plastic and glass and snatched them up even as the force of the falls was washing the away.

I thought of that afternoon this afternoon in Prince William Forest, another national park, when as I stood by the side of a tiny waterfall, no more than an out-sized rapid, really, my sunglasses inexplicably slipped from my grip and, just as before, in the slowest of slow motion, gathered their momentum on the gray stone and dropped into the stream.

Oh, there was no miracle in the woods today, but the sky was blue and the air was warm, and so I shrugged it off and called it even.

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