One of my favourite summertime outings here at SCHC is Eagle River Falls. It is a pristine canyon carved out by an ocean-bound river. The granite walls that encircle the location rise high above, and Douglas Fir and Cedar trees tower even higher to create an amphitheatre beyond compare. The highlight of this location is undoubtedly the 30ft falls that tumble down to the pool below that has been hollowed out over thousands of years. It is so rugged, majestic, and awe-inspiring that it quite simply can be overwhelming.
As long as I can remember, I have been in awe of its majesty and splendor and feel small next to all of its grandeur. The sort of overwhelming awe is difficult to explain as anything other than a spiritual experience. I have come to think of the leap itself off The Falls as a sort of SCHC baptism, although I hesitate to say so. In saying this, I simply mean that it represents a cleansing of sorts, washing away the old and bringing in the new.
Consider the Possibilities
Upon arrival, clients peer over the edge of the falls to survey the drop to the icy water below. Expressions are varied from enthusiastic to fearful. There is no tangible reward for leaving the safety of the firm ground atop the falls to plummet down into the frigid abyss below. But still, consideration is given. Most clients have never been here before, so the uncertainties in their minds must surely begin to pile up. Is the water deep enough? How cold is it? How do I get back up here once I’ve jumped? I do my best to answer these questions as honestly as I can and allow them to decide for themselves what course of action they will take next.
The Leap of Faith
Just like entering a substance abuse treatment program, taking this leap of faith can be scary, uncertain, but also extremely rewarding and rejuvenating. Standing atop the falls, many things must be running through their minds concerning what stands in front of them. Those that decide to go for it, return with glistening smiles and serve as examples of what the human spirit is capable of. When they arrive back at the top, they often remark that the jump is scary but the climb back up is perhaps even more thrilling. I couldn’t agree more.