Rushing Waters

After days and days of rain, it was a joy to see the sun on this chilly winter day…even for a rain lover like me. I zipped up my coat, opened the windows and sunroof then took off for the woods, as is my custom on beautiful days. Not wanting to get caught by the sunset, and because of the continuous deluge of the last several days, I chose a short hike to the top of Dukes Creek Falls. In case you didn’t know, waterfalls are their most stunning right after a rain. The type of rain we have had turns the smallest trickle into a torrent.
Weaving through the mountains, the wind in my hair reminded me that rain never lasts forever. The sun smiled, lightening my heart from weeks of difficult days. Lake-sized potholes on the dirt road forced me to slow down to a crawl. The leisurely approach was a blessing in disguise, because it allowed me to hear the falls before I even stopped the car. Usually I am aware that water is flowing in the distance when I step into the woods, but today I felt as though Niagara Falls were just ahead. The water thundered in my ears long before I could see it. Flashing through the rhododendron the rush of white water took my breath away. By the time I got up to the falls the ground was shaking beneath my feet.
My favorite places were not within reach due to the high current. Mist surrounded me like a cloud. When the cool air and water vapor collided the result was a freezing nose and hands, which made climbing down to tier two, shall we say…interesting. Wet rocks covered with leaves, roots embedded in rock, and a semi-functional knee made for slow going, but it was well worth the effort as this level was even more spectacular than the top. The water furiously threw itself down. The fall of the cascades were solid all the way across the boulders, racing to the lowest place with total abandon. The power of their fall was earthshaking. I stood, in awe of the forcefulness.
My inner billy-goat got the best of me, and I felt compelled to climb down one more level. Knowing that I would not go beyond that point I crept down gently, all the while taking in the surrounding beauty. The place I normally lie down beside the falls was under water, so I had to make do with sitting on a semi-dry rock several feet back. Watching the wall of water plunge into the gorge below was a sight to behold. The sound was deafening. The vibrations traveled through the rock and into my body causing a tremor that came from the raw force of the water. It was a cacophony of sound which both assaulted and soothed simultaneously. I listened, waiting to HEAR his voice in the water.
“I am stirring the waters. See my power. Do you not know that I hold even this intense flow within my hands? I pour out my love like the mighty rushing waters. Many waters cannot quench it, and rivers cannot sweep it away. Hold tight to that truth. No matter how hard the rain falls it cannot sweep you out of my hands.”
The comfort was immediate. The relief was immense. My climb out of the valley was with a lighter heart and a spring in my step. Birds played chase around my head, the trees reached to the sky in surrender. The moon, high in the sky, winked at me. Riding back down the road, my hair flying, I felt the freedom that fresh air brings. My soul rejoiced. My heart surrendered. My face lifted…with a smile.

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