It was another beautiful, spring day yesterday and by the time I picked up my girls, I’d already taken my usual two walks. Even so, there’s never enough time spent outside on such wonderful days so after dinner, the girls and I headed out on a walk.
The girls and I walked down my road and turned onto the next where a small stream and then larger stream run under the road. We stopped at the small stream and I watched as the girls tossed in some rocks and then we continued on to what I call the guardrail stream. I call the stream that because road crews spent several weeks last summer replacing the pipe that went under the road so the stream could pass through. That job required ripping out the entire road and bringing in tons of new fill and the end result is quite impressive. When the job was complete, they finally put up guardrails to help prevent cars from driving off into the ravine, hence the name guardrail stream.
When they redid that section of road and put the new plastic pipe in to replace the rusted metal one, they made a wide path down to the stream with the constant traffic of big machinery. It used to be a rather steep climb down both sides to the stream below but now the western side has a more gradual slope that’s easier to walk down. The area around where I live contains a lot of slate and shale rock and the path is comprised almost entirely of infinite crumbling pieces of shale.
My oldest daughter Jordan and I have no trouble walking down the path, but Jaycie is a bit less certain due to her developmental delays that affect her strength and coordination. I gave her the option of staying up at the top of the trail, but she said she wanted to go down, so we held hands and walked down together. By the time we reached the bottom, Jordan was already standing in the rocks in the middle of the stream and darting about from rock to rock like a forest frog. She’s just like me in that respect, brave and daring, even though she insists she’s a “scaredy cat.”
We spent quite a while down by the stream enjoying the beauty of the ravine. None of the trees have leaves yet, but the pine trees provided some shade and a bit of green amid the brown and gray. It’s also too early for there to be many bugs out, which is a rather nice feature when playing by water. That ravine is another example of how when you venture off the beaten path (in this case off the pave road) you can discover a whole new world you didn’t know existed. Down in that ravine, the road seemed miles away and it was as if we were in a mystical gully full of adventure.
Eventually, we decided to head back as the mosquitoes had noticed our presence and the sun was going down. Jordan walked up the trail ahead of us and I took Jaycie’s hand once more to help her along. As we walked up, she kept saying, “I can do this” to reassure herself despite the unsure footing provided by the shale path. Hearing her believe in herself like that and coach herself along made me smile with pride because she too, is a lot like me. Jaycie has never let her developmental delays dampen her sunny disposition and even though she may tire more easily than other kids her age, she always bounces back.
Both my girls possess various aspects of me, which anyone who meets us will quickly figure out, but they are their own unique and amazing young women that will achieve more than I’ve ever dreamed. Together, the three of us make a triumphant trio, there’s no path we can’t navigate, and no hill we can’t conquer.