Loves Forever Place By Marina Sanut Fletcher
LOVES FOREVER PLACE
Inspired By Actual Events
"Lets go for a walk" he says as he reaches out for my hand. I look up to see that gleaming smile I have seen for years, perfectly aware those words hold more meaning. I take his hand, as always, and reply questionably " A walk huh?" Where are we going?" Memories dance in my head of previous walks we have taken together. Always beautiful and fulfilling, but sometimes challenging. "There is a place where I've never taken you. It can't wait any longer." he replies. As I look at him to perhaps read his thoughts, I am met once again with that beautiful smile. I feel his hand and fingers clasp between mine and we set forth on our journey. "Well, am I dressed appropriately for this walk?" She recalls from previous walks the terrain can sometimes be challenging. He laughs at her question and replies "We won't be concerned about clothes at this place, ‘darlin."
The path always begins the same. A dirt road, warm breezes, and the smell that can only be found in those mountains. As the road becomes narrow and the descent steepens, his grip gets tighter. " Hang on ‘Darlin, I got you." We reach a creek bed and he announces that he must carry me across. I happily oblige and clasps my hands around his neck. In a sweet tone he says "You know God says I should protect you as long as I live." A kiss to her head she is set back down on dry ground.
The area becomes very wooded. Large trees that have fallen sometimes block their path. They keep a steady pace climbing over, ducking under, and at times balancing across those trees. All the while his hand is holding mine. An hour has passed and those memories of previous journeys with him begin to concern me. "We've been on many walks, are you sure we've never done this one?" she says with exhaustion beginning to weigh on her. No ‘Darlin, I've never taken you here. It’s not much farther. Just up that hill," he replies, with a nod of his head upward. I look up to see what appears to be a very steep mountain hillside. I gasp " I can't climb that!" "We can climb it, we just have to not let go of each other. I'll carry you if I have to, but we are going up." Another kiss to the head gives me the encouragement I need to keep on.
I am feeling the heat now. My heart is beating a little faster as well. "Why don't I ever wear pants or bring water when you take me on these walks." she fusses. As they climb, the terrain gets steeper. Their hands stay locked. With my free hand I try to grab at tree brush or roots growing along the side of the hill. Anything that can help me pull myself upward and move at his pace. Every few minutes, words of encouragement come from above. "Just a little further ‘Darlin. You’rer doing great." I don’t even see a top and can't imagine a place so far up being so important to him. Frustration gets the best of me and I lose faith. I let go of his hand. Suddenly he looses his footing. He begins to slide and extends his arms in search of something to grab. In an instant he flips to his back and digs his heels in the ground. I quickly grab his shirt, then a nearby tree root. It stops us.
My heart is racing, I know that was a foolish thing to do. "I'm sorry I let go, I told him. I guess I'm just tired now." He catches his breath and scoots himself up to sit beside me. Arms around me he says "I know I don't always do so well at showing my love for you, but all of my dreams include you by my side." Again nodding up he says "Up there is where I first dreamed of you. If you listen closely its closer than you think." At first all I can hear is the wind, faint but strong. It’s constant though and almost like rushing water? Water? Do I hear water?
"What's up there?" I ask. Holding out his hand to me once again, he replied "Don't let go?" Those last few steps seemed instant. The excitement of knowing more of his dream gave me the motivation to continue and reach the top.
The light was dim as it splashed along the floor of that beautiful place. It seemed like it had been carved out especially for those that dared the climb. A reward for the effort. Scattered randomly along the forest floor were moss, ferns and flowers with the most amazing aromas. As we continued on the path that led us between large trees I could hear the sounds of the rushing water getting louder. He guided me to a very large tree that sat very near the water. This tree held the initials of many that must have claimed their reward, as he did so many years ago. He pulls a knife from his pocket and says to me "Come here, see this? Its time to add yours next to mine." When he's done she traces the carvings of their initials with her finger. "That's so sweet, thank you." "You’re welcome, now one more thing I want to show you." A few steps further and across some rocks bring them to the top of the most amazing waterfall. The view, the water, the tranquility of it all was so worth that climb. He turns me to face him and reminds me that this is their "Forever Place". We may never be able to make this journey again, but our initials will keep us there, together, forever. "So, why doesn't clothes matter here?" I ask in a flirty voice. "Because there is no one here you need to hide from," was his reply.
A little history behind this inspired story. Randy and I had been married for about 5 years. Whenever we visited his home in GA we would frequently go places he "hung out" at as a child/teen. Randy loves to explore. He found this waterfall in his youth. Its name is Cochran Falls. We talked recently about our climb that day (which brought out me penning it) and how we wondered if it was still accessible. It would be wonderful to take that trip again with him. Only thing I would change is-I won't let go.
Hope you like it!