The Edge

It is a cold and cloudy day. You get out of your car, bundled up for a walk. A welcoming cool breeze brushes your cheek. You zip your jacket to the neck and start walking the path. You begin to notice the things around you. Steep banks, the river below. Brown trees, tan oak leaves dangling. The river flows slowly, mostly black with some gray patches of ice and white snow. You keep walking. You say hello to the few people walking opposite on the path. You go around a bend. There is a sign you haven’t seen before. You keep walking, thinking about that sign. You stop, turn around, and walk back. You read the sign. You giggle. You didn’t know there was a park here! You pass the sign, and begin descending down into a forest valley. Big, medium, and tiny trees dot each side. Your feet grip the snow. There is a lollygagging squirrel over there, making tracks in hops, then it’s gone. You stop and take everything in. It is so very quiet… standing there. A creek is ahead. You begin to hear water bubbling softly. You walk along the creek for awhile. The path holds patches of ice, twigs, footprints, animal tracks, a large broken branch. A dead tree stands, hollow. You hop a stone and cross the creek. You see the path does an s-shape ahead of you. You walk. The ground turns to dark leaves under your feet, matted and wet. You begin to hear a thundering water sound. You reach an edge. It is a waterfall! You grasp a tree and peer further over the edge. The water is frozen and flowing and falling. The ice is blue and white frosting. You smile. The forest and the roaring quiet, and you.