Chasm Falls 2017 ii Dec

Chasm Falls, Middle and Lower Dec 2017

My daughter was getting married next day. I had been working hard for months to get everything right for a wedding in our garden, and now that everything was abuzz, and the house full of helpers, I was feeling the overload. Meanwhile, treasured friends from Armidale (where our girls were born) – in fact, Yelena’s godparents – had arrived and wanted to go running with  me. I thought a walk to Chasm Falls to show them some local beauty would be more fun. We could run in the gorge on the other days. So, a walk to a waterfall it was, and a glorious one at that.

I photographed; Robyn inspected the wonders of moss and lichen; both friends just sat and stared at the mesmerising beauty for a while; and Keith joined me for some of the trickier climbing manoeuvres. It’s nice not to be alone when on slippery, sloping rocks with rather a big drop. I wasn’t too daring, as in my new role of “walker of our precious daughter down the aisle”, I didn’t think it would be appreciated if I died on wedding eve, or even if I needed to hobble on crutches. For Lenie’s sake, I was about as sensible as I get.

Lena thought it was wonderful that I took a well-earned break, and I felt greatly refreshed for having been let off the leash for a while.

And, in case you were wondering, yes, there were tears going down that aisle: both tears of sorrow that Bruce wasn’t there to share the day, and also tears of joy that Lenie was manifestly having the happiest day of her life, even if droplets were falling a bit … and, of course, there were also big, joyous smiles. I think I even heard giggles of delight as we walked down that all too short yet eternally long passageway between the hay bails towards a waiting Jonnie, so that the two young lovers could pledge eternal faithfulness. When you have helped your husband through fifteen years of Parkinson’s disease and still kept loving each other, you know that those words: “to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death shall part us” have a poignant significance. I remember the little student Louise saying those words and nearly choking on the last clause, it was such a horrid thought.

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