Outside its snowing, the thick flakes falling steadily from the sky, coating the ground and the trees. I tried to write about snow tonight, about it beauty and soft graduate. Yet my mind is elsewhere. I haven’t been north in a few months now. My mind is pulling me there, subconsciously telling me I need to go home.
I find myself thinking about Ammonoosuc Falls In Carroll NH. It is a popular place to swim for tourists, situated just before the Cog Railway. But the river is mighty, and few respect this. Hardly a summer goes by without a drowning. Just this summer a man jumped from a ledge while swimming and was taken downstream. Its isn’t a place where you get second changes.
Early this summer, harsh rains came to New Hampshire. With them many rivers swelled. It turned calm tiny mountain tributaries into roaring monsters. The following day, I was up north with my sister and my mother, when we decided to stop at the falls to see how high the water was.
I have never seen such fury. Thousands of gallons of water tumbled downstream, creating a thundering roar. The entire river had been engulfed. The water battered itself against the strong rocks and banks. Curtains of spray flew up and even high above the river bed, rocks were wet and slippery. As we made out way closer to the edge, we had to choose our steps carefully. It had been engrained in us at a young age that one slip up could be fatal here.
Yet there was a part of us that was curious. We drew closer than we should have. Had our father been there his sharp voice would have called us back from the void. Yet Sarah and I drew closer, pulled in by the rivers power. We lingered staring at the water as it rushed by violently. Admiring nature and its unbridged power. Standing there I could feel the shaking of the ground. The air rushing up, and the thundering. The water barreled by us. It churned by at a dizzying a mournful color of yellow and brown, from all of the river bed it had torn up.
I have been a student of history my entire life. I read about the flood that inundated Crawford Notch, and that brought the Mountain down that killed the Willey Family. But standing in the edge of those rocks gave me a new appreciation for the rivers power and why we need to respect it.