June 13, 2006

Water song

The cliffs and waterfalls in this part of the country illustrate the word gorgeous. The gorge we walked through last weekend was beautiful to look at, the lush green mosses and vegetation brilliant against the grey rock and white churning water. But perhaps my favorite part of the park was the music.

I’ve always loved the sounds and moods of moving water.

When I was little, I would crawl into the bow of my father’s sailboat, wriggling my way amongst all the orange life jackets and the white canvas sailbags to find a comfortable spot to nap. With my head resting against the white painted wood, I’d fall asleep to the gurgle and murmur of water rushing against the hull.

Sometime we've traveled to the shore to camp in the sand dunes, so that at night we could listen to the steady and rhythmic crashing of the ocean waves.

I’ve gone underground with my students, descending into a cool dark cavern, to hear the dripping, carving song of an underground stream.

On humid days in August, when I am hiking, hot and tired and thirsty, it's wonderful to hear the splash and dance of a waterfall nearby, luring me into the spray. Always it feels great to let the cold water surge over my head, soaking me until my whole body tingles.

Last summer, when I spent two weeks away from my family, my friends, and my home, on a raft trip through the Grand Canyon, the Colorado River was a constant presence in my life, the rushing, restless sound of it moving even through my dreams as I slept on the bank of the river at night. I was not lonely at all on that trip because the river was always present.

Whether I am just lying on a bridge, thinking about life,


or staring into the gorge below,

water and rock

or walking underneath a waterfall, to let the spray slap against my face,


the sound of water soothes me, wakes me -- pulls me into a conversation about all that I do not understand.


ScienceWoman said...

I could have written this post (not as well, but the same sentiments). My favorite way to go to sleep is by listening to rain on the roof or waves on the shore. Beautiful pictures, too.

skookumchick said...

Wow, what marvelous photos. I have the same relationship to salt water: I could just sit for days, on the beach, or in a boat, listening to all manner of waves.

Liesl said...

What beautiful images, and gorgeous pictures, too.

I love moving water myself. About ten years ago my husband and I vacationed in Grenada. We took a hike up into a rain forest, where a path led us to a stream with a waterfall cascading into a large pond. We spent several hours there relaxing, swimming, and exploring. It's one of my best memories ever.

Honeybee said...

Looking at your pictures and putting together some other details, I have a feeling you live very close to where I'm from originally. But I won't spill the beans here. Just interesting to make the connection!

I'm 90% sure I've been on that bridge. So beautiful!

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

I forgot how beautiful that area of the country is. People here tend to think of the east as entirely urban, but obviously that's not true! Some day I hope to show NY to my kids and my husband, who have never been.

jo(e) said...

Yeah, when people hear NY, they tend to think of New York City. But upstate New York has lots of really beautiful natural areas.

Honeybee, the photos are from Watkins Glen. Are you from that area?

RageyOne said...

Those are wonderful photos! It looks really peaceful and serene there.

Seeking Solace said...

Beautiful photos!

I love the sound of the waves crashing at the ocean. I could fall asleep to that sound

Lilian said...

Oh, I love these pictures, what a really gorgeous place! I wish I could be close to water more often. I particularly love brooks or creeks with cold and transparent water running over lots of round and smooth rocks and pebbles, especially when I can go in the water and feel it in my feet and legs (only it's pretty cold sometimes :)

Of course waterfalls and the sea are even more wonderful, but I haven't been able to enjoy those very often, particularly in the past 10 years (since I moved from Brazil to the U.S.) :(

Jane Dark said...

Lord, those are gorgeous.

MaggieMay said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous pictures. I'm jealous!

Scrivener said...

I especially love that top photo of the bridge.

listmaker said...

How beautiful. I'm that way about wind in the trees. I used to love to lie on a patch of moss in our pine woods and listen to the wind rustle the needles.

Honeybee said...

jo(e): Watkins Glen is about 2.5 hours out from where I grew up. We went there on a family vacation once.

I thought the pictures were from Letchworth State Park. Similar rock formations. The SUNY I went to for undergrad is very very close to Letchworth.

jo(e) said...

Honeybee: Oh, yeah, Letchworth is another gorgeous park. That's another place I've avoided with small children, though ... I will have to go back now that my kids are older.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

Cornell has gorges like that running through campus, it was what I loved most about going to college there. Freshman and sophomore year I lived in an old dorm situated above a waterfall (that is, the waterfall was down in the gorge) and my roommates and I fell asleep every night to the sound of water.

My high school boyfriend, who I have not thought about for years, went to college in Elmira. Strange to see pictures from that area : )