Finding Romance In Nature
Stepping Stone Falls, West Greenwich, RI
Most couples think that a romantic outing has to involve dining out, or dancing, or a movie, or an expensive event, like the theater. Well, I beg to differ on this one. Despite loving the ornate and glamorous at times, I mostly opt for a chance to be outdoors to bring me back to my center. It brings me to the core of who I am and how I can love the person that I’m with, enjoying what we are doing together.
I have always found that good old Mother Nature zaps away all my negativity and brings me to a place of solitude; a place that I can be myself and be at peace with someone else. That’s why after the glitzy nightlife livens up our romance, I like an outdoor event to bring us back to reality. Well, that is exactly what we did this weekend, what with all the parties, outings, theaters, and galleries, my husband and I decided that we wanted to do something quiet and peaceful (and cheap). So, off we went to explore Stepping Stone Falls.
I had been asleep in the car, nursing a cold and wasn’t aware of where we were headed. When I finally came out of my Sudafed stupor, I noticed a long, winding dirt road ahead of me, with lots of barren trees, and hearing the sound of rushing water. I immediately “came to” and took a deep breath as I realized that we were headed for a hike. Well, sort of a hike. The grounds were pretty muddy still from the thaw of winter, but not enough to deter our souls from a little jaunt along the trails lining the Wood River.
My husband told me about the history of the falls with the great granite blocks that were quarried for use as building materials throughout the state. Many of those huge slabs of granite still lie next to the falls.
We strolled along the falls, hand and hand at first and then I wanted to be on my own.
I ducked under birthing branches of evergreens and pushed aside straggly ivy vines. Tiny buds were bursting full of life from the oaks and maples standing strong at the end of a long, long winter. The sun shone brightly, peering through the gaps in the tree line left vacant from winters worries.
We found a vacant bolder that just beckoned us to come and sit for a while, and just take in our surroundings. I laid my head flat on the rock and just gazed into the crystal clear blue sky. Tiny moths darted here and there, appearing to play tag with each other. I listened, and heard nothing. Nothing at all except the sound of the water cascading over the mighty granite slabs caught my attention.
The rushing water over the granite slabs reminded me of my younger days in Vermont when we would go visiting Grandma every summer and eventually would head on over to the falls to go diving for pennies that my dad would throw into the water. Peaceful times. Times of togetherness, solitude and lots and lots of love in that family.
And that’s what I wanted to share with my husband that day, the love I had and will always have for him. And all it took was a walk along Stepping Stone Falls to bring out the romance in our hearts.
It was peaceful. No cell phones, no computers, no cars, no people, and no worries. Only my husband whispering sweet nothings into my ear (“when do we eat?”). A bird chirped close by and I sat up to notice the most magnificent cardinal that I had seen in a long time. His luscious red coat and broad wings stretched across the sky as he flew past both of us, not seeming to notice life itself. It was just my husband and I, together at least, without all the distractions of life.
We could have stayed there forever, or at least until my husband couldn’t take the hunger pangs anymore.
We strolled back to the car, taking our time and noticing other couples doing the same things that we were doing — just living out the moment.
There were many more trails that we could have taken that day, but we had another engagement to attend. But, we promised ourselves that we would soon visit this serene setting, pack a lunch, our cameras and maybe even a new puppy, and just enjoy the moment.
See, it doesn’t always have to be the glitz and glamour that you will need to make a romantic outing. Being in the midst Mother Nature has its own way of bringing out the best in everyone, even the ones that profess they aren’t a romantic at heart. So, why not try a hike along Stepping Stone Falls and enjoy the moment? You will never regret that you did.
To find Stepping Stone Falls, head west on Ten Rod Road, almost to Beach Pond State Park. Turn right onto Escoheag Hill Road (there will be a sign for Stepping Stone Stables) and go two miles, turning right on a dirt road. When it crosses the river, stop the car and discover Stepping Stone Falls.