I'd been missing my walks in the wilderness. Today, the winter sun was shining brightly, the snow had thawed and there were whispers of the forthcoming spring in the air. I headed out to the place I often go to for solitude, and to write in nature. The river was full-bodied and wild. My usual path was blocked by pools of gurgling water. Instead, I headed away from the beaten path, to a hidden gem of a place I had found during the summer months. Perched high above the river between the twisted trees, arched and wrapped in ivy, I sat on a bed of browned leaves and wrote a little, whilst soaking up succulent sunbeams. Eyes and limbs at ease.
Then, I wandered again—climbing precariously over rotting branches and mossy boulders until at last, I came to a clearing. Beyond it, further down, was a familiar sound. Music to my ears, it called me to adventure. Clinging to vine and branch I descended—some too weak to hold me, crumbled and broke upon touch. I slid down, further than I ought to have gone. But the reward was great. For there, hidden deep in the bare bramble strewn banks was a beautiful cascading waterfall. It was falling from the hills beyond the valley. Bouncing gallantly between the glossy green plants, over stone and trunk towards the river below. It was the first time I'd discovered it. Childlike, my heart skipped a beat. Eyes wide in awe, it was like finding gold at the end of a rainbow.
I rummaged for my camera and climbed the falls. Boots soaked—I took a few images. Tokens of the day, reminders of this beauty. Though it occurred to me at that moment that photographs, however rich in colour and exact in form, can never quite capture the feelings one feels when present. Or the sound and scent of the water; alpine, fresh, rapturous. Or the paradoxical state of contentment and invigoration. And yet, they will serve as poignant reminders—visual cues and clues of a unique, wild and adventurous year. And of all that has been unearthed and rediscovered. And all that still lies in wait, unexplored.