I have had the good fortune to be in the presence of spectacular natural landscapes throughout my lifetime. I have always found being in natural settings surrounded by trees, bushes, rocks and water comforting and reassuring. This last month trips along the outstanding coast and inner harbours of British Columbia have allowed me the pleasure of being in some stunning natural settings. Shannon Falls pictured here was one of those magical places. Seeing the water rushing down over the majestic rock cliff and boulders took my breath away. There was need for nothing else. Just standing there and gazing up at the falls was all I needed. The spray that traveled several hundred feet and the rumble and roar signified the power of the water. The dark cliff face shone in the misty sunlight giving the whole scene an eerie yet welcoming tone.
As we start this New Year with anticipation of what will occur during the year and what we hope to accomplish we can also get a sense of being overwhelmed. There has been a lot of attention in the media about 2012 and the “end of the world” predictions related to the end of the Mayan calendar. What kinds of events will happen this year? If the world is to end how will it take place? How will our lives change or end? Can we have any influence on what happens? So many questions rattling around.
The rush of the holiday season is nearly over and we will soon be swept up into the regular routines of work, school and all the other things we do every day. Many of us will be feeling like we have not had a chance to integrate those New Year’s resolutions into our already busy lives. Where did all that extra time we thought we would have over the holidays disappear to? How are we going to take on new responsibilities and activities? How will our decisions fit with or impact other major things happening around us and throughout the world? How will we be impacted by events outside of our control? How will we respond to these events? So many questions and things to consider.
Thinking about these questions took me back to the wonder and amazement that I experienced beholding the beauty of Shannon Falls. I thought about the simplicity of the water falling over the cliff face and the power it created in this simple action. I thought about how the water from some source above naturally flows over the rocks making its way to the valley it has helped to shape below. I thought about the cliff, boulders, and rocks changing contours over time through the force of the water, evolving into different shapes. I thought about the trees that bordered the falls and supported both the structure and the beauty of the falls and about how trees that through decay or pressure fell into the falls seem to revel in being smoothed into another form of their former self.
I wondered if I could learn from the natural flow of the water and the corresponding cooperation of the rock face, the boulders and the trees in allowing nature to take its course. Could I let things flow a little more freely? Could I learn to appreciate the bumps and barriers in my path? Could I accept that these bumps and barriers and how I respond to them will shape my future? Could I allow myself to see the beauty in the delicate dance that is life?
Imaging myself as the water of the falls brings me a sensation of calm and freedom at the same time as I feel my courage coming to the fore. Mirroring the naturalness of the falls feels like a good thing to do. Allowing the natural flow of things at the same time as recognizing the power created by my actions will stand me in good stead. I am curious about how my personal boulders will change shape as this year goes on.
Irene McDermott © 2011