Thursday, January 16, 2014

Living by Niagara Falls

Happy New Year!  A couple of friends have mentioned blogs in the last few days, reminding me that I haven't posted on mine in quite awhile, for some reason.  I think it's a combination of busy-ness, fatigue, and being thoroughly devoted to Facebook.  But blogging always helps me to do, and I've got plenty to blog about these days, when the time and energy allow.

One of the interesting things to me about moving to this area has been living so close to Niagara Falls.  I'm so fortunate to be within a few miles of this natural wonder that people come from all over the world to see.  I can drive 15 minutes and see it from the New York side, which is fantastic.  The upper rapids start before the hotels do, and they have this exquisite way of foaming and roaring along, but in the same pattern, keeping to the same, humped and rippling shapes, colored and roughened a little bit like the muscles of horses.  They pass under the bridge to Goat Island, a low stone arch past which you can see them simply disappear, no hint of the Falls, just a sudden absence, with an edge of the world look except for the mist billowing up and dissipating in the wind.

That wind glazed my face numb the other night by the time I got to the edge, but it was more than worth it, as it always is, to see, first, the verge where the water all turns white, blossoming and tattering into foam and the remnants of current, sweeping everything with it for that thousand feet between me and the island on the other side.  The lights from Canada made it a rose pink, a daffodil kind of yellow, and then such a bright white that the water's translucence rendered brilliantly silver, that all seemed accepted and immersed in the falls themselves, that looked, in their pouring over the stones below, not as sheer and forbidding as I would have thought, but more like an enormous shoulder, an outcropping that faithfully, relentlessly, thoughtlessly let its 150,000 gallons a second down that misty space.  That it's done so for 10,000 years now, with only some disruption along the way, I could completely believe.

Somehow that, and the spectacle of it, and the surprisingly comforting, hushing of its roar, dampening other sounds, fit with the small crowd along the railing, from who knows what countries, there for the same reason, maybe thinking, briefly, the same things.  Or, like the falls, thinking of nothing, in that space and that hush so much greater than thought.