(a picture of a waterfall from a distance, shrubs and flowers in foreground, bright day, a house resting just above the waterfall farther up the cliff, 2011)
Holding on to the railing, feet locked into the gaps, I looked beyond and what I saw is water falling from great height. I didn't take me much effort to get there, no hiking involved, I didn't even have to drive (my father did). I made my way passed a vendor, a man with his belly out selling seashell creatures, after a few exchanges of the eyes I moved on to the railing, there I just stood there, looking. Around me were tourists, not much different from the ones earlier, to the other waterfall we had visited that day, also requiring no walking, just parking, which was at capacity. I looked and I looked over the edge of the road at rushing water, cameras snapping all around me, I wondered what this site meant to them, what it will mean to them when they upload their images, look at them on their glowing computer screens, maybe this site will end up as a desktop background, maybe they'll even print it, it might even end up as a larger print, a whole 11x14 printed on canvas will spill over on the edges. Just maybe. And what will it be then, what that image will be when floating in their living room, on their desktop background, will they remember their time away, maybe the love they had or had not in their hearts, their resort room, the beaches, chasing waterfalls, or will they just see a waterfall, just some water finding the path of least resistance and then plummeting to a small lake where it gathers, collecting itself, and moving on in a river like matter. What gathers so many people to places like Niagara Falls, so many newly-weds, what do they see in falling water, or perhaps its the place, it has been manufactured for their devotion, to make the best of their time, the landscape has bent its back backwards. Perhaps that asteroid from space that hit the Niagara region some x-amount of years and attributed to the formation of the Escarpment had love in its interest, that it was a love stone being thrown at fearsome and fiery speeds towards the not-then-but-is-destined-to-be the US-Canada border.
I once biked that region, it's damn hilly, hard if you're not used to hills, which I'm not, and harder after a long day of biking, not fun. But it is beautiful, it is something to behold, to see in your lifetime at least once, if you can get around doing so, I mean don't come all the way from China to see it, if you live close then sure, come check it out, not the town, but the region, do some hiking, make sure you come in the summer, but make sure it's not too hot, there's surprisingly a fair amount of hikers, or rather tourists that decide to walk for a few miles, that die of dehydration, which reminds me, bring plenty of water, the right shoes, or rather hiking boots. Leave only foot prints, unless you seen a fancy rock, and you're the only one doing it, and make sure no one sees you doing it because you might just start a trend. That rock will sit in your pocket, it shines, it shimmers, it is a deep black and reflects a rainbow like oil in water, a dark water at that. I once found a rock like that myself, up in the foothills of Navajo Lake, CO, I was running around, and exploring nature as a kid when something called to me, I dug my hands into the a pile of pine needles, loose leaves, and smaller rocks and pull out that same exact rock. I knew without a doubt it was a meteorite, I knew what those things were and looked like, I was all about space, aliens, fearing abduction, and korn back then. It was heavier than any other rock its size, it always felt cool, it was metal, but yet it was a stone. What it also was was smooth, and gentle on my hands for something so hard. I looked at it in my hands the entire way back to our house in Gallup, NM, about 200 miles south of the lake. We were driving this Dodge Ram van that my father and I turned into a RV, I remember my sisters not being there on that trip, and I had the entire living room/dining room/backseat to myself. I laid back, and fell asleep as the boat of a van rocked and rocked on the asphalt sea.
Somewhere in space, that rock, the same as the one the tourist that likes to walk for a few miles has in his or her pocket travelled far to get there, in his or her and my childhood pocket. It made me think of how every atom in my body, and every atom I'll ever encounter in this lifetime has travelled far to get where they are now, and how when I think of a romantic time on the beach, I think of how that girl and I travelled the cosmos together without ever realizing it, we met in space I whisper into her ear in my sexy voice, she doesn't hear me at first and says what, "What". I begin again, and wind blows sand into our eyes, we kiss, and that's the end of the story.
Why do people chase waterfalls, why, why, why?