Here is Part 1 of ‘The Waterfall’
… and so … the adventure continues …
The sun shone so bright it hurt. I should’ve stopped a while back to drink some water from my canteen, but that pesky urge to ‘know what’s around the next corner’ kept me going until I had nowhere to stop and haul it out of my backpack. ‘Note to self; hang the water on the front of my backpack from now on’
I gingerly inched my way round yet another gnarl of sandstone that my ever-dwindling track remained determined to hug with limpet-like persistence. Shuffling sideways, my face pressed against the rockface, I tested another handhold and stepped over a crumbling bit of sandstone.
Suddenly everything around me turned dark. I just about fell off the side of the mountain right then and there!
That’s the difference between being in the sunlight on the side of a cliff and stepping into the shade … on the side of a cliff.
I unpuckered certain orifices and blinked ferociously until I could see into the shadows.
A tiny rill of water had found its way down from the Escarpment cutting a deep cleft into the soft sandstone. The cleft widened out somewhere above my head, due perhaps, to a fault in the sandstone striations, and formed a waystation for slightly foolish humans, and other slightly less insane forms of life. It penetrated deep enough into the cliff-face that it created its own micro-environment. Deep enough that I could actually sit down. Deep enough so that it formed a tiny pool of the clearest coldest water I’d ever tasted. Giant ferns draped themselves overhead and nodded in the slight updraft funneled from the valley below.
Have you ever sat beside a tiny waterfall and listened to the sound? It’s a balm to the spirit and you can’t help but smile at all the stresses and stressors you were somehow so concerned about just a short while earlier.
I sat there until the sun shifted further west and bathed my little hidden glade in golden light. It was time to return. I slowly stood up and heard a sound in the distance, like the rumble of thunder. All the sky I could see from my admittedly limited vantage point glowed a serene and cloudless blue.
The ferns shivered and a sudden hard cold wind flattened them, bustled its way down the cleft and spattered me with flecks of muddy water.