March SOLC–Day 15
A huge thank you to Anna, Beth, Betsy, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for all that they do to create a supportive community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write, learn, share and grow.
“Do you mind if we stop and check out the waterfall?” I asked my daughter.
We’d been running errands and were finally heading back home. Earlier, on the way to town, we’d noticed that the cold temperatures had worked some icy magic on the waterfall down the road from our house. I wanted to get a closer look and hoped to snap a few pictures.
“I’m down with that,” she said, so shortly afterward I pulled into the icy parking lot across from the small park and we got out.
“Ugh. It’s colder than I realized!” I complained and burrowed further into my coat. “Let’s try going this way. Maybe we can get a better view.”
I love to visit this waterfall in all seasons, but it’s very difficult to get a good vantage point to capture its beauty in a photo. This time I was determined. I led the way across the road and around the fence marking the edge of the park area. Below the fence, the land was roughly terraced and covered with brush, trees and patches of ice. It sloped markedly toward the water. After ducking and dodging through branches and slipping and sliding a bit on the frozen slopes, I quickly realized the risk wasn’t worth the possible payoff.
“I don’t think this is going to work,” I said.
“We could try over there, up by the fence,” my daughter suggested, pointing up the hill.
We backtracked through the tangle of branches, grasping at bushes and trees to avoid an unplanned descent toward the water. Back in the fenced area, we crunched through the frozen remnants of snow and approached the fence. The waterfall roared in the frigid air. Water coursed over, around, and through the frozen falls of ice and churned at the base. I focused on the falls, taking picture after picture, frustrated by the branches that prevented me from taking a clear shot and generally unsatisfied with my attempts to capture the beauty of the moving water amidst the tumble of vertical ice.
“Mom,” my daughter suddenly said, “Look over there!”
She pointed slightly to the left and I turned my back to the waterfall to look. There in the dark water, miniature icebergs swirled like frozen lily pads. They bobbed and circled in a mesmerizing aquatic choreography driven by the currents generated by the nearby falls. Looking at this new view I noticed that here, the “intruding” branches actually augmented the scene. It was absolutely beautiful! I took a few pictures and we stood for a while together, watching the hypnotic movement of the ice.
When I looked at my photos later that day, I was struck by how different they were and reminded how it always helps to have another set of eyes, a different perspective. Without my daughter there, with my single-minded focus on the falls, I might have missed the beauty that was right before me, slightly to the left. I wonder how often this happens in my daily life and in my classroom…