The Waterfall

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A creative non-fiction from my life.

Submitted: November 13, 2016

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Submitted: November 13, 2016



I am going to share an out of the ordinary experience that began when I was 14, in August of 1995. It was a Saturday morning around 0700hrs. I woke up in terror to my step-father Milton pinning me to my bed by my hair, swearing at me, and punching me in the head. I was then dragged down stairs where I was forced to kneel before my mother an apologize for coming after sunset. I then ran back up to my room after a couple of other things that happened that I will skip. After running back to my room, I tied my sheets together and then tied them off to my bunk bed as an anchor. I then repelled from my second floor bedroom window to escape that place. I then ran down to our shed in our backyard, grabbed my fishing gear and headed down to the Broad Brook Pond stream, waterfall that was behind the old mill.


When I got to the waterfall I setup as I always did, atop this massive brownstone that was almost completely submerged in the water that sat next to the falls. After bating my hook, I began fishing. It was then when I casted in that I asked “God” to give me a sign that he was real. I ask that for all this suffering that I was enduring that he was real and this was part of my purpose. I said out loud, “God if you are real let me catch one trout, just one. Then I will know you are real.”


 I was there until sunset...I caught nothing. I was so angry and alone inside as I said, “I knew you weren’t real.” I then left as it was beginning to get dark, I walked along the stream and out of the woods near my house. I remembered that day internally talking to myself as I was leaving the woods, to never forget that, “Everything in here, in nature, is real and all that all that out there is of man’s creation, built from the minds of imagination.”


Now fast forwarding to 2008 and I am sitting in Shady Glen Restaurant in Manchester, CT. across from me sits the Pastor from the Christian church not far from there. We were grabbing breakfast to converse about my family becoming members of his church. I was mainly there because I wanted my daughter to have an understanding of virtues and a strong foundation built on strong values that the church had given me when I was her age. As we ate the Pastor pulled a pen out, which he used to begin drawing on a napkin two cliffs, then a cross bridging those cliffs. He looked at me and said, “Are you willing to walk across this and die for Jesus. I grew instantly angry reflecting back to that day at the waterfall. I looked at him and replied, “Sorry Sir, but I am not dying for anyone!” We talk more, finished eating, and then he paid the bill for both our meals. Which I insisted he did not do. I do not like anyone helping me or paying for anything of mine. I told him I would think about joining the church and then we would meet once more to talk about it over breakfast, “my treat.”


 A few weeks passed and we met again. I informed him I would not be joining his church at that time. We talked a bit then he drew that pen from his pocket again. For a second time, pen in hand, he drew those two cliffs and the cross on the napkin and said, “Are you willing to walk across this and die for Jesus.” I said, No, I am not dying for anyone.

I laugh now as I reflect because both times we went out to eat with him I was on active duty and in uniform. I found it funny because I was in uniform not willing to die for anyone, but more so willing to die for everyone.


 Now moving lastly into November, 2012 it was a Monday. My mother had just passed away from Cancer and basically drinking herself to death with alcohol. I had moved back to my home town to be close to her as she was in the hospital on and off for almost 3 years. I had up to that point lost many brothers and sisters in arms, friends and family, but she was the first one that truly got through my armor.


That Monday morning, I had a thought. I thought that it was time I stopped fighting with God, time I went back down to the waterfall, said I was sorry and got my faith back. As I was walking out the door to our apartment building a crow sat atop of my truck, cawing at me. It wasn’t until I got awkwardly close before he flew to a nearby tree and continued. I knew at that moment it was time to go to the falls and make peace with God. So I called out of work and drove to my mom’s house where my stepfather still lived.


I arrived at my parent’s house, parked the truck, and set off into the woods. I nervously started down the old over grown paths that I walked as a kid. I saw all the old areas I explored, the turtle swap, and studied the transformations of the stream’s banks from the flow of the stream. As I ventured on I came to a point where I had used to be able to cross the river accept now beavers had made a dam which raised the water level to well above chest deep. I thought well how am I going to get to the falls. Then up ahead only a few meters I saw there was a downed tree. The beavers had obviously chewed their way thru it. The tree fell from one side of the stream to the other. I stared at it for a moment when I instantly flashed back to 2008 when the Pastor asked me, “Are you willing to walk across this and die for Jesus.” I had chills down my spine as everything started linking together. I thought to myself, “Eddie it’s time to go home, It’s time to cross this tree.” So I did, nearly falling off I made it across and down to the falls. Accept when I got there the beavers had made a dam so there was no falls, just a diverted part of the stream that flowed weakly around the falls. There was not one drop where the falls used to pour over, filling the air with a mist and the powerful roar. The brown stone I used to sit on was eroded away from years of water wear submerged now in a stagnant pool of still water. I instead sat along the stream bank near my old fishing spot. I sat there took a breath, looked up and said, “I am sorry for getting mad that day and for so many years. I just needed somebody and I was so alone. I now understand why I had to face so much adversity.”


I sat there for about a half hour following my apology then head back out of the woods. As I ventured back out, there I stood, for a second time, at the downed tree that crossed the water. I flashed back to the second time the Pastor and I ate at Shady Glen where he drew on that napkin. I smiled and hopped up and crossed once more. I trudged on and 20 minutes later I left the woods. I got back to my truck, started it up and just drove home in silence, no radio, nothing.


I got back to the house, walked into the apartment building and up three flights of stairs of our door. As I entered the door to our home my wife was there in the dining room at the table with a bucket of our pictures. She was gathering them for picture boards at my mother’s wake and funeral that week. She hands me a pile of them and said, “Look here’s a bunch from when we first started dating.


There on the top of the pile was a picture she took of me in the year 2000, at the waterfall, on our first date, holding a trout in my hands, smiling and so happy. I almost passed out but it was at that moment that I knew that God had been listening all my life.

© Copyright 2018 Eddie Bonetti. All rights reserved.

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