WHEN you come to New York dad, my daughter had told me a few years ago, “We’ll drive down and see the Niagara Falls!” I remembered the Niagara Falls.
For years before visiting it the first time, I had seen pictures and picture postcards of the waters cascading down the rocky sides onto the river below. For years before seeing it, I had visualized the spectacular picture in my mind, but what I saw that day was beyond my wildest dreams.
I travelled from New York to Buffalo by the Greyhound, very comfortable and with all the luxury of an airplane.
For company I had a young man from Japan and we two became good friends on the bus. I remember ever so often watching him open his Japanese to English dictionary so he could describe something to me, using the correct word.
It was important to him that he said everything precisely and to the point. It’s no wonder they are a great nation today. We travelled through the night and in the morning reached Buffalo from where we changed buses to go to the Falls.
From the bus station, we walked towards the falls, wondering what spectacular sound or scene would suddenly startle us.
There was an eerie stillness; it was like that split moment before a magician shows his biggest magical scene to the audience and indeed God here was the magician: Far away I heard the spray, it gently wafted through the stillness, like a curtain being opened and then before my eyes was the most incredible, breathtaking spectacle I had ever seen.
Till date the magnitude of that scene remains frozen in my mind: The roar! Huge and powerful, like that of the lion, in the stillness of the jungle, it tore through the air, making me shudder with the sheer terror of the sound.
The screaming river rushing across the edge of the horseshoe cliff and falling continuously with a resounding hoarse throated bellow thousands of feet below. I stood at the edge, shivering at the formidable might of nature at her furious best: A wild beast, unchained and unfettered, it’s waters like rippling muscles, savage, brutally primitive.
Yet strangely, as I stood and watched that scene that day, I felt a sense of peace descending on me. I had come to the Falls, beset by problems, suddenly the hugeness and grandeur of the power I felt made the problems small and inconsequential
. My voice broke forth, and I sang, “Before the hills in order stood, or earth received her frame, from everlasting Thou art God, to endless years the same!”
It was not just the might of the Niagara I saw, but a glimpse of the omnipotent power of its creator. “Yes my child!” I had whispered, “We’ll travel to the falls again, to thank Him for showing His unbridled power, that gave me quiet peace, many moons ago..!”