There’s a place he goes to get away. It’s down a steeeep hill, across several gullies and hills, at the end of a stream, beside a waterfall. Far, far away from the disturbance of road traffic or the sight of manufacturing plants. Hidden by acres of woods, and pocketed by ravines. When he wants to decide something, mourn a loss, think about a problem, or be alone, he sits on the rock. It’s his cathedral, where he goes to sit next to what’s in his heart. His wife knows him, lets him go, and welcomes him back. We, his coworkers hear about it through what it’s been doing lately. The waterfall’s really running right now, he says after it’s rained. Come spring, the waterfall gave me a lot of mushrooms yesterday. When it’s been dry for several weeks, I lost my waterfall. This is what completes his backwoods, redneck, funny-man character. This is part of his other side. The side that labors for hours on his exotic birds, reads a book a week in the winter, and is my steady counsel when it comes to ordering boneless pork shoulders.
So when he invited us to see this place, we couldn’t refuse. Our eyes were opened and we saw another side of him we didn’t know existed. It was stunning, and we’ll talk about it for years.