We got up early with the sunrise. It is one of my favorite things about 30 seconds after I get up. The first few seconds when he alarm goes off, that I have set to get me up at the crack of dawn, is disorienting. Sometimes my slothful side wins and I turn off the alarm. If I can push through that early resistance then I remember why I am awake. I get to greet this beautiful day.
I got into my swim gear, splashed water in my face and then headed to the waterfall. We were trying to film before the crowds showed up, well before the crowds of people showed up. We drove the half a mile to the parking lot and then walked the 100 yards to the waterfall.
Songbirds flitted away from the trees. Water rushed over the rocks with thunderous applause. Two huge turtles plunged off a boulder in the lagoon. A huge heron exploded from the alcove below us. Obviously, many others had the same idea I had. We sat down and started filming. We were taking time-lapse shots so we were still and quite and the area began to return to normal. The song birds alighted in the trees and began to serenade us. The water kept churning. A brave turtle emerged from the depths and hoisted himself out of the water and stretched in the sun. The heron slowly began to wade in the water opposite our location.
Flee and return. This is the way of life. Something happens and we flee. We turn inward and away from others. Maybe it is a misunderstanding. Possibly it was a deliberate offense. Sometimes it is boredom. The result is that our world is out of balance and we end up alone. Then slowly we find a way to return. We find that what drew us in the first place is still in place.
This pattern repeats itself and one of two things happen. One, we flee longer and further away until we stop returning all together. Two, we get more resilient and stop flying away when change occurs. I told the birds they had nothing to fear from me, but they did not listen. I told the turtles they were wasting energy, but they fled anyway. The only way to stay connected to people for a long time is to learn the way of grace and forgiveness. Without it, we will keep fleeing and isolating ourselves until we are complete alone. People are hard work, but worth it.