Falling into the Canyon at Yellowstone! Almost!

When fear paralyzes …

Frozen in Fear

Last year, I stood near the lookout point at the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, remembering the first time I’d made the trip, and how fear consumed my ankles and made my feet like rubber.

Thus, I was unable to make the trek to the lookout point, missing the view, unable to see the majestic waterfall.

But on this trip, I was going to conquer my fear. I wasn’t missing the waterfall, but I couldn’t breathe. So, my friend coaxed me, her confidence obvious by her words. “You can do this, you’re brave.”

“I’m not brave. I’m petrified.”

“I know, but what if you never come back to Yellowstone. You can’t miss this.”

Confidence to Move

I inched forward, grabbed the rocks, trying to balance. I found myself close to the edge, near the rock wall, and I captured the painted view that only a Creator could have drawn.

The canyon was wide, allowing the river below to flow like hope rushing to my heart. And then, I saw the waterfall to my right, the water’s white spray of power falling over the rocks. The crushing sound a reminder of how God is my strength to stand. To move ahead with confidence. To conquer my fears.

An eagle’s nest cradled itself on the crest of a giant boulder where an eagle nestled in the twigs and small branches. It was a spot for the eagle to remain safe from wolves and other predators.

Then a cloud drifted over us, and the heavens opened up and it rained, a refreshing shower of coolness. The temperature shifted from warm to cold in seconds though, followed by a hail storm which sent us running beneath the trees.

Then, snow floated to the ground from the same cloud, and I moved from the trees, closer to the lookout spot. I relished the rainfall, the hail, and the snow—all in five minutes.

Stumbling at the Edge

Before I could take it all in, a woman came barreling at me, wrapping her arms around my neck, forcing me backwards, and I slammed my leg into the rocks, as we tumbled to our knees. Near the edge of the cliff!

She screamed at her husband. “Honey, why would you push me like that? I nearly killed someone.” She turned, pulling me to my feet. “Are you all right?”

“Yes, I am. But what was your husband thinking?”

“Nothing, as usual. I’m so sorry.”

He spoke, “I was only playing.” He apologized, his voice squeaking like a toddler caught in a horrible plan. “I’m sorry. And ma’am, I didn’t know my wife would go berserk.”

She yelled, “We’re on the top of a canyon. What were you thinking?”

Stepping between the couple, I turned them toward the view. “Take a glance at that eagle. See, the water fall over there. Isn’t this the prettiest view ever? I’m fine. Let’s not ruin the moment.”

The couple embraced, standing at the near-death-plummet-to-the-river wall, and the man gave me a glance over his shoulder. “I am sorry for causing you to fall. That must have scared you.”

“Well, it happened too fast, to be afraid. I’m just happy to be alive.”

Beauty Still Abounds

My friend who had been busy taking pictures across from the lookout point, walked up. “So isn’t this the best? I can’t believe the view. See, nothing is going to happen to you up here. You’re safe.”

I snickered, “I think you’re right. Let’s get a picture. I never want to forget this day.”

And it was at that moment, I think I heard the trees in the forest sing, “For the heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims God’s handiwork.” (Psalms 19:1) And it was at that moment, my legs felt stronger than they had in years!

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