Waterfalls and Cities

Yesterday was a wonderfully informative day and we continue to process its meaning for us.

Beth’s Saturday morning yoga class took place in a Quality Inn, quite a nice one it turns out, in Seneca, SC. She began the class with some Yoga Dancing and I jumped in front of the camera to join her for one of my favorite things to do – dance!

While Beth continued her class, I did a little research on the 27 waterfalls in the northwestern tip of this wonderful state. Thank you to the manager of the Quality Inn who told us to NOT MISS this opportunity!

I picked three locations and departed with Bradley in the back seat of the truck. BTW, the backseat of the truck is Bradley’s favorite place to be with the possible exception of the woods. He has his own little rug back there and a bone he likes to keep next to him, mostly for comfort, I think.

The first waterfall we chose was Issaqueena Falls in Walhalla, SC. We ran into lots of families there and we had lots of fun goofing around with the kids, their parents and other tourists like us. It seems that one of our “special skills” is the ability to walk into a place with complete strangers and get everyone, including the kids, talking and laughing with one another. Like dancing, it makes me feel connected and alive.

While looking at the first falls from a viewing platform, I noticed a young man who had hiked down into the falls, themselves. Slowly and carefully he made his way out onto a cliff near the top of the falls, a sure death plunge if he made an error.  This brave (or crazy?) man made his way underneath the falls. Wow.

Getting back in the truck, we drove to Station Cove Falls. We began a thirty-minute hike through the woods, a glorious, easy-to-hike path that had some of my favorite aspects of a wooded path: pine needles on the floor (not too many roots), a babbling river running alongside us, a clear view of the sun and sky and lots of interesting smells for us and for Bradley!

Arriving at the falls, we sat down on a rock and just stopped.

Getting there was wonderful, but the place itself was even better. We took off our shoes, wandered into the water and approached the falls. Bradley did the same and the three of us inspired other couples and families to do some of the same!

Like the man at Issaqueena Falls, we stepped out but with a risk that was appropriate for our abilities and comfort. It was glorious and I opened up my arms to be at one with the nature around me. Oh, God, thank you for this beautiful planet!

The photo above was snapped by a man named Chris, a man who saw me slowly approaching the falls and was inspired to capture the moment, unbeknownst to me. He approached Beth and sent her this photo. We liked it so much and felt so grateful for his inspired generosity! Thanking him, he suggested we do one more with the three of us. Thanks, Chris!

After the hour or so at the falls, we hiked back to our truck. It was 3:30pm, so we thought, “what’s next”? We had a few options – more waterfalls, go to our new hotel or head into Greenville and check out the town. We opted to go to Greenville, to see it on a Saturday and because we didn’t think we could top the nature experience of Station Cove Falls.

Greenville, SC is considered one of the top 5 small cities in the country. In 1976, the town fathers saw a city that was in rapid decline, so they created a “plan” to develop a thriving, people-friendly town that would turn things around. Many of my friends suggested that this town might be the place that Beth & Scott would like to live – so were very excited to see it. Could it be the place for us?
When we arrived, some sort of street fair was drawing to a close. The streets were filled with millennials and a smaller amount of baby boomers and others, but the vibe was decidedly young and party-like. A DJ pumped some hip-hop into the town square, an area filled with water fountains, outdoor restaurants and lots and lots of bars. My college-aged self would have loved Greenville at that moment. Everywhere I looked there was beer, attractive, well-dressed young people and plenty of excitement!
For the next two hours, we walked around town. We saw the architectural intelligence of this rebuilt city full of people on Segways, partiers on the rooftops of $300 per night hotels, and lots of places for people to spend their money and have fun.
It wouldn’t have been the South if we didn’t see and hear a preacher on a street corner just south of the street fair. He was saying things like “Listen to the Lord, Greenville! The time has come to repent and turn back to Jesus!”
Coming back to the hotel, Beth collapsed. I took Bradley out for a walk and then went into town to find a grocery store and bring us back some dinner. We watched the last episode of an HBO series with Kate Winslet while munching on too many peanut M&Ms and then decided to talk about our day.
At first, I thought it was a mistake to go to Greenville. The stark contrast between the glorious waterfalls in the woods and the partying, commercial atmosphere of the city was disquieting. As we talked, though, I came to see the contrasting experiences as a blessing.
By seeing the two types of places right next to one another, we were able to FEEL the difference between them. And that, my friends, is one of the main purposes of Beth & Scott’s Adventure. One of our intentions to find out “where do we want to live next”? After yesterday, I know that rural life is probably the one I want to live in. At the very least, I now know that I need to be very aware of the mix of energies that exist and how they affect my mental and emotional stability.
In my dream, last night I found myself in a place where there were two, contrasting groups of people who were tasked with building one, new community.
One of the groups was composed of attornies and builders, high-powered, intelligent planners. The second group was composed of people who looked as if they were on a Soul Retreat. The former group spent their day working on building materials and logistics while the latter group bathed themselves in water and spoke in poetry. I found myself moving between the two groups, even though I was “assigned” to be a part of the builders and attornies group.
When Beth and I woke up, I told her about my dream and we discussed its implications for where we are in our lives. In short, I see the necessity of finding my place, determining if the life that was handed to me in New York is the one that I want from here going forward.
I don’t know the answer, yet. But I do know this: the search helps me to feel alive. The Scott in that picture under the waterfall is my highest self. I look to him, to God and to Beth to help me determine what’s next. And it may be exactly what I’m doing right now – experiencing, writing, communicating and then doing it again and again.
Thank you for taking this journey with us!

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