Last Thursday we gave thanks with family, and on Friday we took to the woods. The path we wanted to take was closed to all but “ice climbers and experienced hikers properly equipped for dangerous conditions,” so deeming ourselves the latter we pressed on into the Glens Natural Area via Ricketts Glen State Park in northeast Pennsylvania. Here, Kitchen Creek flows down a steep escarpment, and trails loop through a stunning 22 waterfalls in just over 7 miles. Dear Reader, you know my penchant for metaphor; however, on this hike the waterfalls offered none. Their lessons on authenticity and persistence were literal and immediate.
Water is relentless. No matter how massive the obstacle, it will find a way.
Water doesn’t try to be something it is not. Its true nature is its constant guiding force.
Water changes form and seeks any pathway necessary to continue moving. It follows the easiest path it can find, and creates an epic journey.
Given the smallest opening, water will get through.
Water doesn’t complain about the path that happens to be available. Water just follows the path.
Water can be still, or rushing, or mist, or ice, but it is always water.
Water does not yearn for the path it cannot take. Likewise, last Friday we gladly followed the path the water had made, hugging the rocks that have shaped the creek. Where the water was ice, we stepped to the side; where the path grew steep, we took to all fours. No metaphor. No need. No effort. No turning back.