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Sometimes it takes endurance for us to remember why we live in western Washington.

Like ten months of rain.

In a row.

But then…

But then one day something lovely happens.  Called the sun.

And every spittle, drizzle, down pour, shower or everlasting cloudburst is forgotten. Forgiven. Behind us.

Because this is where we want to be on an eighty-one degree day. In a pair of last year’s shorts. With a crusty tube of sunscreen. Looking up at a blue sky and seeing this.

Sweet Mount Rainier.

We’re on our way to Carter Falls.

Only we’re pausing to point at everything….

Because it doesn’t matter in which direction we look–ahead of us, beside us, at our shoes…

God’s hand print is everywhere.

Which is when we realize that the stuff along the way…

is making just as much as a mark on our memories as whatever lies ahead. Whoever said, “it’s the journey that matters,” was really on to something.

Uh…not a tiny a rock here.

But a tiny sign.

Here’s Carter Falls…looking one way.

And here’s the crush and tumble of the water looking the other.

We could clomp back to the van from here and feel like we’ve “seen it all.”

But since the legs of these two still have some juice left in ’em…and since there’s more trail ahead…

we keep climbing over roots and side-stepping stones…

and poking at snow with our fingers and packing it down our shirts…

Until we reach this bridge…

And plop our behinds down.

We could turn around here, too.

And we probably should.  But ahead another mile is Narada Falls.

Which doesn’t mean anything to us yet.

But since it does to the people passing us on their way down, people’s whose faces reflect something amazing, we go.

And we realize…some forty-five minutes later…

they were right.

Narada Falls. And us.

Narada Falls. And us. And our son’s bottom.

What we gathered when we got there is that people park up top here and hike down a tenth of a mile to view the falls. People in flip flops and perfume. People with cameras the length of their arm. People whose cars have done all the straining.

About this time, we would have liked to have gotten into one of their cars and coasted back down to ours.

But then we would have missed seeing her.

We would have held hands and skipped fewer times.

We would never have been so grateful as we were to see these rocks again.

Or that bridge.

And that water.

Up close.

Thank you, Lord…for such a beautiful day.

And for the arms, hands, legs, feet, eyes and ears to experience it all.

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