I stand at its base, watching in awe as the waters race over the edge above and crash gloriously right beside me. I wonder at the thunderous rumbling that drowns out the voices around me, and at the constant shaking of the rocks – each of whom have endured centuries of such a remarkable current. One can see the erosion and the lines on the rocks – these waters have changed them.
The Falls roars by – the splash at its base exploding upward and outward in all directions creating a wind, a force, a Spirit of its own! Their power is deafening. The mist spreads as if acting of free will. At times it even seems to creep upward as some kind of living being attempting to climb back up the Falls from which it came. Sometimes the breeze lifts the mist and it cyclones around itself – forming what appears to be a tornadic storm engulfing all in its path, including me. For a moment, it is all that one can see or feel. At times, a rainbow even forms in the mist and hovers magically just above the water’s surface. In such a literal sense, the mist is breathtaking in its embrace, as it repeatedly changes the scene in which it exists.
The waters at the bottom of the falls swirl and churn around and around. Plants peek out of rocks worn down from the wear and tear of daily life here. This is where two great lakes converge, and where billions of seemingly independent streams come together to move as one – forming rapids flowing wildly like nothing I have ever experienced before. The water and the Falls are in so many ways their own living creature in constant movement, carving the landscape anew every day. Yet, soaring just above it all are flocks of seagulls simply gliding gracefully with what must be a miraculous overview. The contrast between the powerful rapids and its graceful residents is palpable. It can change one’s heart.
Here, in these moments, I am engulfed in baptismal waters, flowing with such force as to erode that which clings to one’s soul. These waters are life-altering, more powerful and chaotic than the world they help me to forget. For now, all I can see is glory and beauty and strength. I need not understand, but only fully experience, as I stand surrounded by that which God’s hands have crafted so perfectly. Here, the universe has been reduced to live-giving waters flowing through a corner of the creation I am blessed to be observing. In this place, time is no longer counted and humanity is no longer so large. Life is simple – as I release all cares and fully immerse myself in the thundering waters that cleanse all worries. I find myself thinking – ‘If only I could stay and dwell in this sacred moment for a lifetime!’ But then my soul reminds me that the sacredness of this moment will indeed dwell within me for all eternity – and my heart beats with joy again. Amen.
-Rev. Jeffrey G Mikyska