Words cannot possibly explain the awesomeness of Niagara Falls. Pictures cannot possibly capture the dynamic power of this natural phenomenon. Therefore, all I can do is give you the closest description of the most breathtaking site I have ever experienced, one of the most awe-inspiring natural wonders of the world!
I have a "bucket list" of some of the things I want to see and experience before I die. Seeing Niagara Falls was one. Nothing can ever take that spectacular memory away, and I would do it again in a heartbeat! No one should experience this magnificent sight alone. I have a traveling buddy. We vacation together and enjoy some of the most inspiring places around us. So, of course, Kaylyn, my best friend, agreed to explore Niagara Falls with me.
We drove to the Falls, parked the car, and walked to the observation area. The roar of the waterfall, the rising mist, and the chilly breeze enhanced the experience. The water screamed with a vibrant aquamarine color, and as it cascaded over the rocks, it appeared like smooth, smoky-green glass. The weather was foggy, cloudy, and rainy, and the mist that rose from the falls cast a dark shadow in the air. I wanted to see the rainbow that is commonly seen near waterfallls, but we did not think there would be enough sun to cast the colorful arc in the sky above the Falls. Still, my friend announced, "God will shine on you. You will see a rainbow over the Falls." Shortly after she spoke those words, God granted that request. The sun peeked through the clouds and the prism evolved. Isn't God marvelous? I got my rainbow!
One of Kaylyn's first revelations expressed in question form when we set eyes on this force majeure says it all: "Can you imagine what the early explorers must have thought when they heard the roar of the water from miles away before they even encountered the Falls? I wonder what they expected to find? Certainly not this?"
Standing up close and personal next to this fabulous beauty, this enormous energy, this powerful marvel, I was speechless. Waterfalls seem to have a mesmerizing effect on a soul, but Niagara Falls is not "just some waterfall." It is "The Waterfall," the enthralling, spell bounding, stupefying, Wonder of wonders! And yet God shows us this sensation up close, here on earth, and still proclaims, "I am mightier, more compelling, and more powerful than this! I am an awesome God!"
I could hardly turn my eyes away, as I snapped picture after picture. You think, "Who needs that many pictures of a waterfall?" But it was so hard to stop. Every direction I looked presented a new epitome. Just as every snowflake is unique in its design, as every fingerprint is different, so it seemed that each downpour and motion of water possessed its own distinctiveness.
Finally, Kaylyn and I took the Maid of the Mist boat cruise into the heart of the Falls . The Maid of the Mist is a powerful diesel-engine boat that takes you from the Canadian docks past the base of the American Falls, then into the dense mist of spray inside the magnificent curve of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls.
The tantalizing sway of the boat over the choppy waters becomes an unbelievable reality: "I am actually in the water, under the Falls, and this enormous energy and power floods over my emotions!" I look at Kaylyn and tears are streaming down her face. Her countenance is unmistakable and expresses my feelings exactly. Water rushes all around us as we are immersed in the excitement of the roar of the Falls. We cannot speak to each other because the words would be lost in the crashing of the cataract. But no matter, mere words cannot describe the beauty God has created. Niagara Falls displays a divine, breathtaking, miraculous, and heaven-sent vision.
When we left Niagara Falls, a piece of my heart stayed behind. I will definitely have to make a trip back to pick it up again. "Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and billows have swept over me" (ESV Psalm 42:7).
Marsha Barrow 2013
Marsha Barrow is a High School English teacher and children's writer. She lives in Bertram, a small town 40 miles northwest of Austin, Texas.