There is one spot on this entire earth I hold most dear in my heart. It’s a place that was created when a huge boulder rolled from a mountain eons ago, landed in the Coal River about 20+ feet away from the steep bank, and created a flow around at the Lower Falls in St. Albans, West Virginia.
Its position created a shallow creek-like area hidden from the road above by the towering trees. It also served as a barrier from the deadly current on its other side.
During the years of my youth, the rock was host to hundreds of picnics, campfires, and solitary visits. It bore witness to the never ending hunt for crawdads, rock skimming contests, and foolish moments when I tested the limits of my luck by stepping close to the drop off. I would get lost for hours staring into the murky green depths of the swirling water.
At 37 years old, I shared the fond memories of my time spent at the rock with the man I was dating. He listened when I told him stories about how I rode first my pony, then later my horses, down the bank to the stream.
He heard how the rock was my solace, my friend, my respite.
He said he wanted to be those things to me in June of 2000, in his suit, on bended knee in the gravel, beside the Coal River, an opened jewelry box in hand. The roar of the falls nearly non-existent as I heard him ask me to spend the rest of our lives together.
This is the 27th story in the Objects as Waypoints Writing Project series.