Still startled. Still surprised. Still somewhat shocked. How can someone meet for the first time while swimming? It is a hot July day as I hunt for waterfalls near Skaneateles Lake. It is a passion for me to hike to those undiscovered in Central and Western New York for the past ten years, as I live in an abundant valley of waterfalls; why Ithaca is Gorges is a bumper sticker.

My best friend, Gaylee’s book has been our faithful guide to many exceptional waterfalls until her death May 3, 2019, so now I am solo. I find Skaneateles Lake inviting me to swim laps, where lifeguards ensure our safety. But not from a man who walks out to where I swim back and forth, he saying, “Hello,” with the usual comments about the beauty of clear water cooling us down. Really? He swims back and forth trying to keep up our friendly conversation, while only seeing one another’s heads.

I do not remember a spark of attraction until we walk into shore, me gazing at his broad tan shoulders, muscular arms, and long legs of ideal masculine form. We sit on the grass close enough to foster communication and my knowing attraction. I learn he is on vacation with his wife, their marriage rocky. That morning he had found a waterfall nearby saying, “I could show you.” My disappointed voice replies, “I would if you were not married. I am attracted to you which is rare for me.”

He says he wants to come to Ithaca to check out waterfalls. I smile as I say: “I would be glad to be your guide.” I write down my contact information on my older business card sporting waterfalls.

On August 17th, I have written on my calendar, Eternal Flame Falls, near Buffalo, NY. knowing Dave lives in the vicinity. I guess I was hoping unconsciously and consciously that the Design Of the Universe (DOU) will intervene – when I receive a text from Dave August 16th, that he is coming to Ithaca the next day. Would I be his guide? Silly question😊

My heart is not in my throat but ringing in my ears and widening my eyes. The next day we meet in the Eternal Flames parking lot, find each other’s sparkling eyes, as he pulls me in for our first lovely kiss. After three months together, he is separated from his wife, and we are spiritually married.