Why Bother With Perfect Timing?
There are some things in life that cannot be rushed or forced. Instead, they have their own timeline and in that perfect time, unfold. Back in the 1960s, there was a song made famous by the Byrds called, Turn! Turn! Turn!. The lyrics were taken almost verbatim from a wise guy named Solomon. Whether you listen to the song, or read the words directly from the book of Ecclesiastes, the message is the same; there is a right time for everything.
Third Times the Charm
Back in November of 2021, my friend and I set off on a hike in the Cabinet Mountains. We put on a few warm layers of clothing, zip our gators over our pant legs and tie up our water proof boots. We sling our day packs, filled with the necessary survival gear, over our shoulders and set off down the trail. The weather is still mild and the snow only ankle deep. We are optimistic that we’ll find Cascade Falls, a four mile one way trek.
It was easy going for the first two miles, but the farther into the wilds we trudged, the more difficult the trail became. First of all, the snow level came up to our knees in some places. But that was not what stopped us. Losing the trail all together is what made us turn around. There is a season, and time to every purpose, and early winter was not the season or the time for us to see the falls.
June of 2022, we try again. It is warm, and the days are longer. Our layers of clothing are lighter, and there is no need for gators. We still pack our day packs with survival gear, sling them onto our shoulders and start our trek for a second time. We we optimistic that we will make it this time.
At first, navigating the puddles of spring runoff that dotted the trail was a good challenge. But the further into the wilds we went, the more difficult it was to find our way around the water filled holes. At one point we had to abandon the trail completely because water from a nearby stream filled the trailway.
When we saw that the path and any route around it was submerged in a foot of water, we sadly retraced our steps back to the trail head and our car. There is a season, and time to every purpose, and early spring was not the season for us to see the falls.
On a weekday in August, my friend and I try once again to find the falls. The weather is very warm. We carry more water than anything in our day packs. This time, there is no water or snow on the trail. The creek that parallels the path is completely dry and we wonder if the falls will be dry too.
We can’t lose the trail this time though because there is new signage and pink flagging that keeps us on the right track. Though a warning sign at the trailhead alerts us to bear activity, we only see old dry scat. We ford a tributary that is filled with water and our hope soars. Maybe the falls will have cascading water too. Sweat runs down our backs and soaks our shirts, but we keep climbing up the dusty hill. At one point we stop and stand in what appears to be a dry falls bed. Mossy rocks and tree debris make us wonder if this is the falls. Did we finally find them only to see them dry?
But we do not turn around. There is still some distance to go. Then, they are there, right before us in all their glory. We make our way down to the running water, remove our boots and socks. Our toes tingle delighted by the cold water. I am giddy. The place is astoundingly beautiful. We eat our lunch, walk on the mossy rocks and enjoy the view. It was the season and the perfect time to see the falls.
Why bother with perfect timing? There is a season to everything and nothing we do will hasten it. But when it finally comes, we get to enjoy the pleasure of it.