It's already a crazy morning. Almost all of the kids were awake and wanting to get up before 6:30. But we kept them in their room until almost 7. (Why don't they sleep in as much as their mother thinks they will? :P )
Anyway. Pickle Puss and I are going to an Author Symposium today. The rest of the kids will be here.
Sorry I don't have a new story for you today. I haven't had time to get anything. I hardly had time to get this picked and posted. It's the first short story I ever posted on this blog. I hope you enjoy it.
At the Foot of the Falls
“Come on you guys, hurry up!” Kelly hollered racing to the middle of the green meadow, her eyes on the cascading water which fell with a thunderous roar down the cliff before her. Never in all her ten years had she seen anything like it. It was fascinating, incredible!
“Kelly, wait for us!”
Kelly stopped, her eyes never leaving those falls for an instant as she waited for her brothers. Kyle, though faster than his sister when it came to running, was now going slowly, helping Kerry carefully across the grass towards the open meadow were Kelly now stood.
“Oh,” Kerry breathed, when at last the two boys had reached their sister. “How ... how... I can’t describe it! Can’t we sit down right here? It makes me dizzy looking up so far at it.”
With great care and gentleness Kyle assisted Kerry to a seat on the sun warmed earth. For several minutes the children sat without saying a word as they stared mesmerized at the beautiful Yosemite Falls. All three children looked more or less alike: nut brown hair, brown eyes and a sprinkling of freckles. They were all the same height but while the other two looked robust and full of life, Kerry was thin and pale. He had just spent the last five months in a hospital recovering from a serious illness and had only been released a few days ago.
“Kyle,” Kelly broke the stillness. “What do you think of it?”
Kyle shook his head. “I’ve never seen anything like it. Can you imagine what the first white man who saw this thought? Maybe he camped right here.”
“He would have had plenty of water,” chuckled Kerry. “Just listen to it roar.”
“Sounds kind of like the trains back home.”
Kelly giggled. “Only this one doesn’t have a whistle.”
Kerry looked sober “I don’t remember what a train sounds like really. All I got to hear were the sirens, beeping monitors, squeaky shoes on the hard white tiles and voices of strangers. I’m more than ready to go home.” He looked at his thin white hands which he knew were so weak that he couldn’t even hold a full water bottle for long.
All three fell silent. Birds twittered and sang in the trees, and a bee buzzed around the few flowers in the grass. Kerry picked a small yellow flower absently and looked at it, thinking of all the hot house flowers he had in the hospital and his longing for something real, something that had grown out in the sun and wind, even a dandelion. The bee buzzed closer and alighted on his flower. Kerry didn’t move as the bee crawled around the flower and at last flew away.
“We missed you,” Kelly whispered softly remembering the ache she had felt each meal time when Kerry’s seat was empty.
“I wonder,” Kyle began when the stillness had become almost unbearable. “Does that waterfall ever stop? I mean does the river or wherever that water is coming from ever dry up?”
“I don’t know. Let’s ask Dad when he comes back.”
Quietness once again descended on the triplets, each one busy with his or her own thoughts. This was the first time they had been alone together for more than fifteen minutes since Kerry had become sick. Now together, they didn’t seem to know what to say. They felt different now, older, more grown up and, though no one would have admitted it for the world, they all felt just a little shy of each other.
Kerry was beginning to get tired from all the excitement and lay back in the grass. He squinted and finally shut his eyes as the sun’s bright rays shone in his face. Kyle at once moved so that his shadow would fall on his brother’s face. Kerry opened his eyes and smiled.
“I didn’t think I would get this tired of sitting so soon.”
“Do you want to go back?” Kyle asked anxiously. “We can if you want to.”
Kerry shook his head. “No, I like it here.” He paused and looked at the towering cliffs. “Do you think,” he began slowly, his eyes moving to his brother’s and then to his sister’s face, “that I will ever be strong enough to climb something like that?”
Kelly and Kyle looked at each other. What should they say? They didn’t know what the doctor had told Mom and Dad before they left the hospital.
Kerry was watching their faces. “Do you?” he asked again.
Kyle spoke then, “I don’t know. Maybe you will.”
“You are already climbing mountains,” Kelly said softly. “We all are. Mom said each year has many mountains. Some are higher than others and more rugged. I guess kind of like those right by the falls. You know, where it looks impossible to ever get up. And others are gentle with good, well worn trails. Like the ones we used to climb back home. She said the harder the mountain looks, the more we learn to lean on Jesus for help to climb it. And the higher the mountain top is, the closer we become to God on the top. She told me this one day when... when...” her voice choked a little, and she blinked back the tears. “Well, it was when you were so sick. At the first I mean, and I... I asked Mom why... it all happened, and she said it was a mountain range.” Kelly looked away from her brothers and fought back the tears that threatened to spill.
Kerry reached out and gently squeezed her hand.
“Dad told me the same thing,” Kyle added. “Only he also said that there were valleys after each mountain. Some, he said, were dry and like a desert and took a lot of courage to go through, and some were green, like this meadow, and were given so we could rest and gain strength for the next mountain ahead. I think we are in a green valley now.” He smiled at Kerry.
Kerry smiled back and after a few minutes spoke. “Well, we will rest then in our green valley and then together, with God’s help, we’ll climb the next mountain. Who knows, maybe there will be a thirst refreshing waterfall on it.”
The three children smiled at one another and then gazed once more at the magnificent scene before them. Though they were young, they were learning to face each mountain before them with faith and trust in their Savior and Guide. Knowing that if He went with them, there was nothing to fear, and they could climb the highest mountain and cross the driest valley, for the river of life would be there when most needed.
What do you want next week?
Have you ever been to a big waterfall?
Would you like to go?