We got into the car last week and drove off and kept driving until we reached the Niagara Falls. Took about ten hours but never mind. We were rewarded for enduring the heat and the scorching sun:
No amount of clicking, I thought, could do justice to the experience.
Nor can any measure of description I may try here.
Text and picture can, at best, be substitutes.
People, on the other hand, are easier to trace, for me anyway. So I tried to collect the words scattered around the Niagara Falls ( the State Park on the USA side and the gateway on the Canadian side) and wondered what they said about the people who came here.
I’m bottledworder, after all!
There was water, water, everywhere. So someone had thought of this and someone else would be reading this too late!
There was a bridge across the bounding water that was about to take a sudden leap. But if you couldn’t read, what would you be thinking?
On the other hand, if you could only read but couldn’t make out pictures, what would you do when you saw this object next to a bench on the paved road to Goat Island once you crossed the bridge?
In front of the ticket counter to the “Cave of the Winds,” folks would be taking pictures home that showed how they’d braved the falls. Little did they know that a photographer was photographing the photographer 🙂
Compared to the force of the waters we were about to face on the “Hurricane Deck” there, this bear looked really benign at the entrance:
But clearly, some people took Mr. Bear too seriously:
We looked like members of an ancient cult wearing yellow ponchos as we climbed the steps covered with green seaweed:
but only after babies had parked their cars at the entrance (who else would try to park here?):
You couldn’t have found this anywhere else either:
The diversity of human character, I thought, as I saw the following signs all over the US side of the Horseshoe Falls:
There were those who would brave the falls at the “Cave of the Winds” in front of an oil painting. And then there were those who would need to be warned with the following sign in front of the gigantic falls also on the Canadian side:
Perhaps this is what hubris means. Not knowing that you’re an ant no matter how brave:
And then, faced with the sheer power and grandeur of nature, there were those who felt threatened perhaps and wanted to live forever through their writing (by writing their everlasting love over the Horseshoe falls?):
Authorities clearly wanted to improve upon nature even on a full-moon night:
That’s the instinct to endure, I guess!
But at the Niagara, nature still steals the show.
We like to possess. We like to control. We like to improve. But sometimes, we work with nature:
Though we’re not always in control:
The Niagara Falls was, without a doubt, the uncontested celebrity here.
But what about the tiny flowers that grew beside it, I thought, when I bent down from the side.
What about us?
For no reason, Wordsworth’s Lucy came back to me:
She dwelt among the untrodden ways Beside the springs of Dove; 30 A maid whom there were none to praise, And very few to love. A violet by a mossy stone Half-hidden from the eye! —Fair as a star, when only one 35 Is shining in the sky. She lived unknown, and few could know When Lucy ceased to be; But she is in her grave, and, O! The difference to me! 40
If the Niagara stopped, everyone would notice.
What about each of us?