I coined a new term. Waterfall Baptism. It is the act of getting underneath the falling water of a waterfall. Every waterfall I have been “Baptized” by a waterfall, has taught me something.
Tumalo Falls opened my eyes. I found self acceptance, and my eyes were opened to all the experiences I had been denying myself. It was a real beginning to my journey. In my post about the trip I write…
While standing underneath the water fall, I started to cry. In that moment I released so much personal hate. I released the anger I’ve held because of what I thought I couldn’t do. In that moment, I realized that I don’t have to deprive myself of amazing experiences because of a potential for a few short sighted people.
My next Waterfall Baptism was thanks to Proxy Falls…..
There was a moment that I felt something I have never felt before. I cannot describe it. I’m not even really sure what it was. I do know that it was positive, almost euphoric. It was as if time had begun to stand still. I was aware of being a tiny speck in the grand scheme, but I felt like I could take on the universe. It was a strange combination of power and humility.
The base of Koosah Falls eluded me, but I did spend some time at the very top of it.
I stood in wonder of this, for what felt like eternity. What if I threw myself into my goals, over my fears, with the same trust as the water does before it goes over? Is it possible that from that leap of faith I could gain power, and from that power the magic of self-fulfillment? Would I feel that tingly sensation that comes from knowing you are exactly where you are suppose to be?.
This weekend, I went to Ramona Falls. It was the longest hike I’ve done, to date. The “internet” says it’s seven miles round trip, but it was really closer to 9 miles. (You can read more, here.) At the base, I looked up at the falls and wondered what she was going to teach me. What was she going to show me today.
When I made it to rock wall cascade, I felt the tingle of anticipation. I reached my hand under the running water. I immediately felt the coolness radiate through my body. I found my footing, and put my entire body under the waters.
What I felt, was cold. No electricity, no epiphany.
What I felt most was disappointment.
I hiked, at that point, almost four miles, chasing a feeling I desperately wanted to feel again. And, yet, it was no where to be found. I was being “baptized” by a waterfall that seemed to be missing it’s magical quality. It was like plugging a TV, only to find it still unable to turn on. The TV in my soul was no longer connecting to the magical signal.
I went back under a few times. Each time, taking a deep breath and conjuring my feelings on anticipation. I found my sense of awe and wonder, in hopes that it is the fairy dust that fuels the magic.
Each time, I was just left cold and empty. Though, after the long hike, it was nice to feel chilly.
When I finally gave in,I sat back down at the base staring at Ramona Falls. I wondered what I had done wrong. I know my mind was pretty cluttered on my walk there. I was working through some of the negativity that had been plaguing me since my last “waterfall baptism.” Did I come with too heavy of a heart?
It was then I noticed a tiny section of the rock face. There seemed to be droplets of water suspended in thin air. Compared to the cascade rush of the falls, this small section of water droplets moved at a glacial pace. Each one glistening in the sun.
And, then I felt it.
At the base of Ramona Falls, looking at what seemed to be magic itself, I felt the electricity. I tried to take video of what I saw, but my camera couldn’t pick it up. My hiking companions saw it, so I know I’m not crazy.
It was then I learned a new lesson in expectations. When I’m looking for something, I can never assume where I will find the answer. It may be in the rushing waters from over head, or it may be while watching from the distance in quiet contemplation.
It’s not always in the waterfall, either. Sometimes it’s in the moving meditation of hiking for 8 miles. Sometimes it’s in the middle of a table in a small bar, where your sharing drinks with your companions. Sometimes it’s in the loud music you blare in your car on the way home. Sometimes it’s in the shower, when your proud of how dirty you got after a day of adventure.
The answers, the peace, come to us in their own way.
You can read more about the hike itself at the Oregon Waterfall Tour blog.