The Life Force that moves through us, and through every drop of water and layer of slick rock, is as familiar as our own breath, yet as hard to grasp as the wind that rustles the cottonwoods. We are told that the elements of science are kin to the elements of human nature: that those with Fire in their souls possess a radiant energy, an enthusiasm that brings color and vibrancy into the world; that those with Earth in their souls are well grounded and have enduring and nurturing qualities; that the currents of thought and spirit flow most freely through those with Airy dispositions.
Yet modern scientists of ancient astrology believe that our deepest emotions – our most fervent passions – are expressed best by those with the liquid spirit of Water, the formless potential out of which all creation flows.
Waterfalls overwhelm us with the power of their sensual – and yes – female natures. Spring after spring, they seem to hurl themselves over the edges of their own fast-flowing desires. They rush wantonly toward the prairies, carving canyons into stone, reminding us of our own restless natures. We feel their power especially during the melt of winter snow, when they rush full-boar over cliffs, tumbling over boulders made slick by their urgent passage.
In summer, they dress themselves in sheer liquid gowns, revealing silver hearts, mossy tendrils grown long in the clear pools gathered at their feet. Wildlife drink from their ponds, nest in the boughs of the trees that flank their beds. Yet, come fall, they seem to pause, waiting for the coming winter in the clefts where the cliffs meet, teasing him with their lazy autumn meanders and slow seeping springs. If we’re lucky, fall lasts long past the dying back of dogwood, long past the gold guilding of verdant fern.
Sometimes winter comes softly to the waterfalls, like a shy suitor – his knocking can be heard in the creak of willow branch, or in the cry of kestrel leaving, or seen in the gentle dusting of snow on fur tree. The waterfalls seemed wrapped in winter’s icy blue arms, as if spreading their feathery water wings, dreaming of flight. Hungry deer come to feed on the lichen that clings to nearby stone and bark. Chickadees find shelter in the branches of the pines that grow on the stone slopes beside their chilled waters. Crystallized droplets hang suspended like diamonds.
Sometimes, in the dark of a blue moon, winter’s coming is not so subtle. He storms over mountain and prairie, staying long past the kestrel’s leaving. He kisses the wetness from the waterfalls with frosted whiskers, slowing their passage over rock and stone, turning their bodies into sheaths of ice. His snows bring their deeper natures to the surface, the bitter-cold bite of his breath forcing them to look inward at their own ever-changing ways.
Waterfalls, in winter, have the power to slow the passage of our own busy and hectic lives. Now is when we can reach out and touch their mysterious natures, feel life manifested within their frozen spirits. We breathe deeply, let winter fill our lungs, feel awed by the raw power held in timeless abeyance, like pure energy sculpted in marbled ice.
If we wait for the turning of the earth, the heat of the sun, wait until the air in our lungs no longer chills our bones, we can once again hear our own familiar breathing. We can watch the sheaths of ice melt, watch rivers come to life as streams and creeks fill with mountain flow. Life will once again rush past us in a watery frenzy. And once again, we’ll find ourselves longing to reach out and grasp the illusive beauty.
Causes Page Lambert Supports
Children and Nature Network
American Indian College Fund
The Quivira Coalition
Center for Whole Communities
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