At one point in our travels, my hubby and I made a trip to the beautiful Milla Milla Falls in Northern Queensland. We had arrived just shortly after the last cyclone had destroyed so much of the beautiful countryside and many of the trails and roads were damaged and blocked. It was awe inspiring to witness the ability of nature to destroy what we look at as so permanent and solid … whole forests where the trees were uprooted, broken and tossed like matchsticks … forests left looking like broken fields of stubble. Like many tourists, I had seen countless pictures of the famed falls and dreamed of one day being able to visit them, imagining them to be exactly like the pictures promised. I could not help but feel a bit disappointed and cheated that we were going to see them in these circumstances, in the aftermath of a horribly destructive cyclone. We slowly made our way through flooded and damaged roads and detours, to the falls. Once we arrived, we parked the car and walked down the road to get a closer look.
There were quite a few people there but everyone spoke in hushed tones. The falls appear to just “silently” slip over the side of the cliff and “rain” down into the calm quiet pool beneath. I was lost in the tropical lushness, the smells, and the sounds. Even a cyclone seemed to have little impact, if its point was to try and destroy it. All I could think of was how long those falls had been there and the countless generations who had stood, as I was then, in awe of the beauty. I could see lovers slipping in late at night, children laughing and splashing one another, grandparents taking off their shoes and wading in “just a bit.” A deep spirit of life permeated each second we stood. I had never fully appreciated water and its relevance to life before. Growing up in water rich Canada, we never faced rationing of supplies or worried concern that the dams were not filled. Here in Australia, I was learning that the land was a hard task master and that we honoured and appreciated every resource we were given. Here water had survived the storm and stood untouched, while trees all around had been ripped from their roots and tossed across the land. This water flowed, as does the life blood of the Australian people. It was awe inspiring to stand there that day. I breathed in, wanting to flood my soul with all of it so that I would always be able to close my eyes and come back to it, whenever I wanted to. I cautiously snapped some pictures, already knowing that they would not begin to do justice to what we were seeing and feeling. It was just another way to hang on to the moment, even though we knew the real imprint was on our hearts. Continue reading