Last week, I spent a hectic few days with my daughter in the busiest city in the US.
Then my husband, Mart, and I spent a few very un-hectic days at Glen-Ella Springs, a historic hotel in the North Georgia mountains. We read books, took walks, and ate outstanding meals in the award-winning restaurant. It was quiet, relaxed, and a little bit sleepy.
One morning, we decided to check out a nearby waterfall: Minnehaha Falls. The inn’s manager gave us directions and told us we would ford a stream along the way..
Ford a stream? Really?
The road took us around Lake Rabun and we found ourselves literally fording a small stream that ran across the road. We felt very pioneer-ish. I wish I had gotten a picture.
Soon, we saw the steps at the start of the trail and began the easy .4 mile hike. In no time, we climbed a hill and caught a glimpse of the falls. As we kept climbing up, we saw more of its height until we stood in front of one of the prettiest falls I think I’ve ever seen. It’s about 100 feet tall, and throughout its descent, there are rock ledges with visible layers of sediment. They look jet black and shiny in the water.
The breeze and mist from the water cooled us off as we took photos and videos. Another family joined us and we couldn’t help smiling at each other as we all stood and watched. It was hard to talk over the sound of the water, but that was just fine by me. I wanted to soak in the moment and so did Mart.
I’ve seen waterfalls in Washington, Oregon, North Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, Ireland, and even one inside a cave.
When I was young, my family went to Niagara Falls. The sight of all that water could hardly be taken in; the sound was like constant thunder. I will never forget it.
But Minnehaha, just a trickle compared to Niagara and others, still filled me with awe.
What is it about waterfalls? Why do we seek them out? Why are dozens of guidebooks, websites, and apps devoted to finding them?
I think it’s that magical things happen at waterfalls in books, movies, and in life. I think the sight and sound of them tap into something that stirs and moves us.
They make us slow down, breathe deeply, and gaze with wonder. They help open our eyes and our minds to the beauty around us and make us long for more of it.
They can also make us question the theory that this world is one big cosmic coincidence.
A theory that gets swept away in the presence of a waterfall—and in the presence of the God who made it.
What is your favorite waterfall and where is it? I’d love to know!
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