Have you ever sat near a waterfall, closed your eyes and just listened. What do you see in your mind’s eye? What does the rushing water instill into your consciousness? Does the mist wash your soul as it washes your body? Have you ever felt the eyes of a sprite upon you as the power of the water rushes forth over the gorge? Have you ever stood under that torrent & exalted in the power of the water as it showered down upon you? Have you ever plunged deep into the vortex at the base of the waterfall, envelloped in the power & the primal feeling of being completely surrounded by this amazing elemental manifestation? Have you ever pondered the mysticism of the Waterfall, the Gorge & the River and how they are beautiful Symbols of our own journeys along our existential pathways?
I challenge you to try any of this (tho, I would not suggest diving into the vortex of large waterfalls as the undertow may trap you & drown you – try this with small waterfalls in streams or very small rivers) & relate your experiences.
Not far from where I live is a Provincial Park which is located on a beautiful lake and has a wonderful waterfall as it’s main geographic feature (the park itself is named after this waterway). It also has a number of beaches & since it is only about a fifteen to twenty minute drive from downtown, it is a popular spot in the summer for locals & tourists alike. The campground is always quite full every weekend all summer long. Anyway, at the western end of the public beach, the water begins its descent down the hill into the river below. There are railway ties sunk at this juncture to mark the end of the “safe swimming area” but many people cross over these markers and enjoy the rushing water on the other side (the current is not dangerously strong here). One of the most amazing experiences in my life has been to sit on the far side of these railway ties, my back against them with the water at shoulder height & rushing over me. The energy is amazing & the feeling one gets from doing this is indescribable (you really have to experience it for yourself).
One of my fondest memories of recent years was the day my art class spent sketching and painting all around the park. Some of my favourite artwork that I have produced was created that day. There is magic in that river & it all begins at the waterfall.
I might explore the river metaphor in more depth at a later date. Until then I will leave you all with one final thought to ponder: Have you ever imagined yourself a Salmon? Fighting against the current & jumping the waterfalls & rapids in order to continue your genetic line? And why is it that the Celts considered the Salmon to be the personification of Knowledge itself? Just ask Fionn MacCumhal.