My son David arrived from his home in North Carolina a few days before Christmas. We’d planned good food, mellow vibes, and hikes. Two years of Covid made visits rare, so it was a gift to be with him.
On Christmas Eve, we left our dogs at home (all five of them) and drove to a waterfall about half an hour away. I hadn’t been to Havana Glen for decades which made me wonder about my priorities. The ravine and park are small by local waterfall and gorge standards, and we were the only people there.
As we entered the ravine, I felt held by the enclosing stone walls as though we were entering a holy temple. Because we were the only people around, there was no need to mask. The noisy splash and wet beauty of many small waterfalls softened my concerns about Covid, climate change, and our fragmented country. Nature ruled the day.
We climbed wide metal steps along the cliff wall with the stream pounding against shale on our right. My right hand gripped the rope near the stream while my left reached out to caress solid stone cliffs. Frozen waterfalls were ice sculptures dripping in the wilderness although we were just outside the city limits of the small town of Montour Falls.
David led the way up the slippery steps through the narrow gorge. I lost sight of him when he rounded a turn in the trail where the ravine opened into a large maternal womb with a gushing waterfall crashing into a pool below the cliffs. Awe struck by the beauty, I inhaled the living breath of Eagle Point Falls. I hadn’t remembered it was so powerful, but maybe I hadn’t been there during a wet time those many years ago.
David and I stood rapt, first watching and listening, then taking photos. I wondered at the healing magic hidden in this mysterious and lesser known glen so close to my home. I wondered if the Seneca Indians camped or created ritual here and wanted to know their name for the falls.
Walking back to the car, I felt calm and cleansed by the water and the gift of sharing such mystical beauty with my son.
Have you taken time for special hikes during these stay-close-to-home days? Did trying to avoid Covid change your holiday plans? The day before this hike, David and I walked to Taughannock Falls with his friends but everyone wore masks, so it was nice to feel the misty air of Havana Glen on my maskless face.
For a post about a sacred ritual for Seneca Lake, the destination of the water from this falls, see The Sacred Water of Life: Prayer Walk for Seneca Lake. For a post about the importance of nature in my family, see Healed by Nature, Inspired by Love. (Photos for this blog by David and Elaine.)