It is easy to take the beauty around us for granted. I live in, arguably, one of the most beautiful spots on earth, yet I sometimes feel dissatisfied, discouraged, and disappointed. It's natural, I suppose. As human beings we often think the grass is greener somewhere else.
My little community of Tumbler Ridge, set in the mountains of northern British Columbia, has suffered a disheartening economic setback in the last couple of years. As resource prices plummeted, so jobs disappeared. The exodus which began as a trickle has left our town overgrown (literally) with unkempt lawns and foreclosure notices. It's a losing battle against the clover, dandelions, and other weeds that have taken root, no matter how diligent one might be. One out of every four or five houses is occupied. Yes, that's what I said - occupied. That leaves four out of five vacant.
The only thing that hasn't diminished are the people in need. I volunteer at the local food bank and our clientele has increased. Many of the new clients are low income families who have relocated here because of the cheap rent. While there are some positives, (Tumbler Ridge was recently declared a Global Geopark - one of only two in North America!) there is an overriding sense of discontent among the residents who are still here. My husband and I have managed to hang on due to the security of my teaching job, but it hasn't been easy. We've had to put our faith to the test, trusting in God with more than just our lips.
Fortunately for me, my husband is also relentlessly optimistic. This is a good trait, although it makes it irritatingly difficult to wallow. (For those of us who feel like doing so on occasion...) In any case, rather than focus on the negatives, we've decided to try and enjoy some Sunday afternoon mini-vacations right here at home. There are more than thirty waterfalls within a short hike of town - some just minutes away from the town centre.
The next picture shows 'Flatbed Falls' literally minutes from downtown and a favourite spot for young people. One of the rights of passage is jumping off the cliff into the pools below. It's only about fifteen feet, but it certainly feels farther when you're looking over the edge...
|Photo by 'Epic Power Sport Getaway'|