I am retaking an English course to strive for a higher grade for application to the radiology program at Southern Crescent Technical College. The following contains my narrative essay for my ENGL 1101 class.
P. K., the main character in one of my favorite movies, The Power of One, was told by his mentor that he can find the answer to any question he ever has in nature (The Power of One 01:32:10-01:32:15). We easily do not notice nature in our daily lives because we separate ourselves from it so entirely, but if we open our eyes and put ourselves out in the environment, we can learn much. I had such a learning experience from hiking at Amicalola Falls in Dawsonville, GA.
The main scenic trail at Amicalola Falls consists of two sections, a lower path leading to the base of the falls and an upper trail proceeding to the top of the falls from the base. I laboriously hiked the lower portion of the trail for what seemed to be forever, frustrated that I could not see any sign of the falls. I made several stops along the way to rest. I sat on a boulder on the side of the trail to relax and to catch my breath. A man hiking past me warned me of a little copperhead he had just seen near the same boulder where I perched. I miraculously jumped up and ran farther up the trail only to find another resting spot. After many stops, I finally reached the falls! The falls towering above me reminded me of how much farther I had to go. This area was only the base, but I frustratingly admitted defeat. The upper trail would be even steeper and more challenging, and I chose to stay at the waterfall and enjoy my surroundings without hiking farther. I told myself that I would be back again to reach the top.
A couple of years later, I returned, determined to reach the top of the falls. I had spent my time since my last visit working with a personal trainer, and I lost fifty pounds and gained a lot of strength. I hiked quickly and easily and did not lose my breath, and I made no rest stops along the way. I noticed my surroundings more this time because I did not feel so exhausted and overwhelmed. For the first section of the trail, tall trees surrounded me, but a break in the trees finally appeared. I could see a beautiful view through the gap. Multi-colored tree-covered mountains stretched as far as I could see in front of me and even below me. I felt like I was on top of the world, and I felt like I was Christy Huddleston in Cutter Gap (Marshall). I thought about how beautiful all the trees and the mountains were but also how dangerous it could be and what it would be like to fall from the cliff through that gap if I stumbled. I took pictures to remember this moment and kept moving. I reached the base of the falls, and this time I was still full of energy! The waterfall was monstrous and yet peaceful. The rushing sound of water matched the rush of energy I felt. I continued and eventually reached the top. It even took a moment to realize that I had finished the hike! I felt triumphant!
Since my triumphant day at Amicalola Falls, I feel like I fell through the gap off the mountain. I was sick for three months with a recurring mono-like virus. I had a partial glossectomy to prevent getting full-blown cancer. I left an emotionally abusive relationship to make a fresh start, which meant leaving behind my home and job immediately. I regained most of my weight back and lost all the strength I had gained, but I have still come a long way. One day I will return to Amicalola Falls and hike to the top again. Later in The Power of One, P. K. said, “A waterfall begins with only one drop of water. . . . Look what comes from that.” (The Power of One 01:33:45-01:33:49). I will start over again, and as I saw progress before, I will see it again. And as I reached my goal before, I will triumph again.
Marshall, Catherine. Christy. New York, Avon Books, 2006.
The Power of One. Directed by John G. Avildsen, Warner Brothers, 1992.
Featured Image: Amicalola Falls by Amy Haisten