The Secret Falls

by Eric Liang

Image Credits to Darek Drapala.

Ever since when I was a little kid, my grandpa would tell me a lot of stories. One story which stood out the most was the story of the secret falls. Yes, I remembered it as if it were yesterday. Unlike the other stories he told me, this one was not fictional, it was the real deal. I was shocked to hear that such a beautiful place existed right here on Earth. He and I were close. We had a special bond. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I heard he has only a few more weeks left to live. I went to visit him one day, and he wanted me to carry out one of his many dying wishes, and that was to take a photo of the secret falls since he is old and feeble now so he cannot go there at his own will like he used to back in the days when he was still young and full of youth. I held onto his hand and he held onto mine.

He released my hands, and reached into his right pocket. From it, revealed a folded up paper that was somewhat worn out and old. After a short moment of silence, he handed it to me and told me that in it is a map and directions on how to get to the secret falls. I was surprised and speechless. I never been there before nor have I seen it. And this was the moment where he made the request.

The next day, I went to set up camp at the specified location on the map. After setting up the tent, and getting everything else ready for the night, I headed off. It was one o’clock in the afternoon. The sun was still out, burning brightly in the sky. I’ve been walking for two hours straight according to the map’s directions. Instructions such as “turn right after you see the tall oak tree in the center and then keep walking after you covered about 500 feet of distance” kept popping up along the way on the map. And then, after I was close to my destination, I heard the faint noise generated by the sound of the falling water. It was nearby. I was filled with excitement. Without hesitation, I ran the final distance that was needed to be covered. Finally, after squeezing through some tall bushes and dashed pass some tall trees, there it was. In front of me was a decently large waterfall. It wasn’t as big as the Niagra, but it was beautiful in its own way. The water sparkled in the sunlight. Large smooth white stones populated both sides of the falls. Tall and spaced out trees surrounded the perimeter. I was practically mesmerized by the beauty of falls.

Just then, I immediately came to realization that I still had to take a picture of this place in order to fulfill my grandpa’s wish. I took out my DSLR and began to take some shots. After doing so, I returned it back into its bag, sat on the largest rock, and began to daydream for the next hour. I lied there in peace. All my worries vanished from my mind. This was like heaven. By the time it was three o’clock, I began to head back, but before doing so, I took one last look at it to ensure that I engraved this site into my mind, soul, and heart so that I may never forget such beauty.