A Tale of a Relationship Helped by a Waterfall

February 11, 2024

[Even though this scenario might not fit your life situation exactly, sense this couple’s angst and the way the waterfall helped lift them above it. They struggled with some familiar outcomes of living through the COVID pandemic and it was affecting their relationship.] 

Working remotely, she at the kitchen table and me at a card table in the bedroom, was taking its toll.  My life had descended into staring, unshaven, into the flickering screen of my laptop;  my wife, chattering corporate-speak in herky-jerky Zoom calls.

We desperately needed a reprieve from our cloistered existence. As luck would have it, a local outdoor magazine article featured a beguiling waterfall that month that spoke to both of us!

We checked the weather for the next few days, figured out directions to the falls, and packed a backpack with our favorite delights. After clearing our online obligations, we set out on our expedition.

This little waterfall was a challenge to find. A gravel lane through the forest took us to a wide spot in the road where we parked our car. A promising-looking creek took off at an appropriate angle from the road so we took it. Rock-hopping up the creek on a hot day soon had us soaked outside and in. But then the stream took a sharp bend and there it was in all its glory, the living embodiment of the magazine picture that had so thoroughly mesmerized us.

Without a soul around, we commandeered this watery gem and its mossy grotto as our very own.  A flat spot on a large boulder became our picnic table. A tree limb held our CD player.  An eddy in the creek chilled our bottle of chardonnay.

So what did we do in our two hours of heaven? Nothing! Nothing except talk and breathe and eat and giggle and kiss and sip wine and listen to our favorite string-band music . . . and absorb the magic of this tranquil spot.  Sure, at one point, I felt compelled to go wading in the plunge pool, which, of course, resulted in an unexpected plunge of my own – just more laughs to add to this happy day.

We eventually packed everything up, blew a kiss to the falls, and went home. Now, when I look up from my computer, I see on the wall a framed snapshot of my wonderful wife, sitting in the sun on the big flat rock, toasting me with a Dixie cup, framed by a veil of foamy water and everything is just fine. The waterfall expedition helped us clear the cobwebs and return to the delightful, loving core of our marriage. 

How might your relationships be enhanced by a waterfall experience?

Dr. Tom Kopp

Tom Kopp is the Waterfall Wellness Coordinator at Waterfall Keepers of North Carolina