When I saw the cascade of water over the rocks in the creek to my right, I stopped the car. This must be it the much-praised Falling Water Falls I had heard about from my friends. Ninety minutes of driving along winding Ozark byways, and there it was, finally. Since the new camera arrived this week, I have been itching to get out into the wilderness around me and capture a few shots. The weather today was perfect with a few wispy clouds overhead, a slight breeze, and a comfortable 65 degrees.
It was a perfect day. When I left the house, I popped an Elton John CD into the stereo and let Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy serenade me along the road. Thirty-five years since I first heard it, and I still know every word. This was a perfect day for exploring and relaxing. The Magic of Myth class I am currently taking is one week long, and the course, along with other classmates, is opening many doors in my thinking. The class explores the myth of Amor and Psyche, an epic tale of challenge, perseverance, and growth.
The teacher is the enchanting Elizabeth Duvivier of Squam Art Workshops, who guides the class along paths of thinking and then encourages participants to indulge their interpretations. More than just a story of a woman on a journey in ancient times, Psyche’s challenges can be expanded to explain the human condition and what makes us tick. The questions our teacher left us to ponder this weekend were that of failure. Toward the end of the tale, Psyche is given a task with specific instructions not to do something, which is exactly what she did. She failed at following the orders, something we have all been guilty of doing, and suffered consequences because of it.
could there be a benefit from her failure? These were the questions the participants discussed this weekend, with each of us telling our stories of failure, what lessons we learned, and how we emerged. The brave words of my classmates were beautifully revealed in our compassionate circle where many of us seemed to hold hands through the computer screen and whisper, “I understand. The class discussion left me feeling inspired and connected. Layer onto that gorgeous spring day, a new camera, and nothing on the schedule, and this day became a recipe for a road trip. I had to see the waterfall I had heard about so much.
One and a half times around the CD later, I parked the car along a dirt road, next to the falls. I carefully stepped around the rocks at the water’s edge, hoping I did not fall in, or worse, drop the camera. It was our first trip together, this camera and me, so its well-being was first in my mind. The water was cool and crisp. The sound it made as it spilled over the rocky shelf was musical, and one that would easily put me to sleep if I closed my eyes for a few moments. The clean blue-green water fell about two feet over the rocky landscape and swiftly moved downstream.
It was a beautiful scene, but not quite as majestic as I had expected, gauging from my friends’ remarks. Nice, pretty, glad I came, but drive all this way again? Likely not. The drive back home seemed to take longer, but I am still not sure if I was driving slower from relaxation or if it was the disappointment of the falls that was slowing me down. Either way, I arrived home and immediately downloaded the new pictures to my computer. A friend of mine had just visited the falls the day before, posting pictures online, so I pulled his photograph to compare to mine. 0my falls look different than his. My falls are shorter. The water flow over the edge is more on the right side in mine and in the middle of his. And his creek looks wider.