The best times in anyone’s life can occur when they least expect it. In the midst of what I thought was the worst experience in the summer of 2009, I found a new perspective of life and re-evaluated my definition of beauty. My trip to Fall Creek Falls, with my Governor’s School Class was mind altering, and I look back and cherish every moment of that day.
Compared to other exotic vacation escapes that young adults get the opportunity to take part in, Fall Creek Falls is not ranked high on that list of great ventures. This typical recreation site is a common “one-day” get away for middle Tennessee residents. Fall Creek Falls seemed ordinary to me, but I received the shock of my life the Friday my Governor’s School and I took a trip there.
Previous to the trip, I was having a horrible time at Governor’s School. I found no comfort in new friends, and I felt secluded from the student body. Along with lonely hours of boredom, the studies did not come particularly easy either. I dreaded being there alone and desired to leave more than anything.
However, the day of the field trip changed everything. To no surprise, I woke up in a bad mood. I wasn’t looking forward to the hour-long bus ride, either. When I boarded the bus, an Asian girl by the name of Fatima, asked to sit with me. Surprisingly, we talked the entire way there and sang along with the radio. My day was gradually getting better, but little did I know it was going to be the best day of my summer.
We arrived to Fall Creek Falls in what seemed like minutes, and I was reluctant to get off the bus in fear of more isolation. I grudgingly exited the bus and followed the crowd. The excited chatter immediately annoyed me.
We headed to the trail that would lead us to the falls. The pathway was crowded and trees covered enough of the sky to prevent vision of what was ahead. However, when the crowd cleared and the trees receded into the background, I found myself in an awe-inspiring moment. It felt as though time had stopped when I saw the waterfall. It was the centerpiece to a beautiful and serene artwork. Something inside me clicked. I wasn’t angry anymore. I wasn’t sad, lonely, or resentful. I zeroed out from the waterfall and absorbed the whole scene. This was something only witnessed in dreams and on the Discovery Channel.
I was bumped out of my trance and found that my peers were far ahead of me, carefully maneuvering down the steep mountain. I cautiously hurried to catch up. On the way down, I realized I was admiring this environment with ease. I had assumed I was not a forest lover, but something in me found every tree, bird, rock and bug very beautiful.
I hopped from rock to rock, anxious to reach the base of the waterfall. The sound of rushing water drew me closer. I turned a corner around a large rock, and then I saw it. It was such a massive natural beauty. The people behind me rushed past, shredding their clothes as they went. The pool beneath the rain of crystal droplets seemed too sacred for me to touch. I had never seen a waterfall in person, but that day forever changed my definition of beauty.
I left Fall Creek Falls feeling replenished and happy. I smiled the entire way home hoping to inspire one with my beauty, as the waterfall had inspired me.
Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.