We scaled over the rocky steps of the waterfall, as it rushed against our feet. The cool water felt so rewarding after our long ride up here.
As people snapped their last pictures and a guard blew his whistle to signal the closing of the park, we swam on, ignoring everyone. We made it to Erawan National Park just an hour before closing, but we refused to acknowledge that we must get out. Water cascaded over the stairway of boulders, fanning out before us. We carefully inched across the various hidden rocks beneath the waters surface until reaching the deep pool. Under the pounding waterfall, we massaged our heads and laughed. We never wished to leave.
Unfortunately rules are rules and we took our last pictures and scrambled out of the water to get redressed. Two Russian couples remained without flinching about the time. One of the guys balanced across a log, while the two girls sat chatting at the end. Another Brazilian couple played in the water and then blew on their didgeridoos. We realized they must be camping in the park and vowed to return next time for an overnight.
Outside the park, we doubled up on our rented motor scooters and hit the road. Although the ride there was fun, the ride home struck an even better cord. We flew down the road, trying to beat the encroaching dark. Besides several cool pockets of air, the wind against my face remained mild for dusk. I reveled in the breeze as it whipped around me. I leaned back in my seat to avoid Danielle’s hair as the wind used it as a weapon to hit my face. We shared my headphones and sung along to the music, dancing in our seats. We screamed the lyrics to Katy Perry’s “Roar” at the top of our lungs.
As we powered through, zipping around slow cars, I stared off into the distance behind us. I watched as the sun glistened on the waters of the dam and tickled the arms of the mountains. As the sun began it’s game of hide-and-seek, I continually peered back to see if I could spot it. First I found it peeking out from behind the mountains. Then I caught it hiding behind a tree. Finally it sunk beneath the water, leaving the sky a drinkable orange color. I couldn’t help but continually gulp it all in, as it reached a darker and darker shade of tangerine. It spilled messily across the sky behind us. I craned my neck to see it illuminate the background of the jagged green mountains. I couldn’t get enough. I felt so thirsty for more.
Each time I returned my gaze to the road, I realized how fascinating the other scenery before us had become. The forest guarded paddocks to the right. Locals set up night markets to the left. Sculpted rocks and wood lined the road in front of shops. Every mile introduced new smells. First a stream of wood fire and burning trash filled my nostrils; then sweet papaya and jack fruit. I welcomed it all into my senses. Curry, sewage (not as welcome), mango, more smoky fire, flowers! It continued the whole way home.
Trees decorated in bright orange and pink flowers showered the road in bursts of color. Trucks honked as they passed us. Thai women held up peace signs from the back of a truck bed. A Ukrainian couple waved and honked from their Winnebago. I stole glances back at the sky and waved to Mandie and Cheryl. I wiggled in my seat to wake up my numb butt. Life felt so invigorating! I truly took up residency in the “now.”
Then as we curved around a sharp turn, I heard a crash. I looked back, my heart pounding, and saw Cheryl and Mandie on the ground with the bike still whirring. Danielle and I quickly braked, also slamming our bike into the curb and tipping it over. While she dealt with turning off the engine, I ran to my sister. They both stood up. No broken bones or huge gashes! My heart continued it’s drumming against my ribs. They both looked on in shock. The balmy night air hung heavy over our heads. People continued to honk and speed by but my whole world stopped.
I hugged Mandie tightly, my whole world almost crashing down. Life is too short. Life is so fragile! Everyone was okay, but I continually shook whatifs from my head. It made me truly appreciate the moment I was having on the bike; truly living in the now. Life is too short to worry about the future or dwell in the past. We need to experience each moment as it happens or or it may pass by without us noticing.
I love my sister to death and I’m so happy we are sharing this experience together! Go out and live it!