When you look at a person, any person, remember that everyone has a story. Everyone has gone through something that has changed them. For me, that change was quite unexpected.
It was so peaceful. The water racing down, picking up every piece of debris. The wind flew through her deep chocolate hair, and carried the sweet smell of nature. The sky was a greyish blue and a little sun peeked from behind the big fluffy clouds. Canada was so serene and such a beautiful place I never wanted to leave.
Taylor tried to remove the hair from her mouth, ¨I love it so much! It’s so much better than I could ever imagine!¨ She looked so happy, like a kid on Christmas morning. Her smile was a mile wide.
“Just wait,” I said, “It gets better!” I grabbed her hand and lead her down a worn down path that millions of people have walked before. We strolled down a narrow, damp tunnel with other tourists experiencing the well known Niagara Falls. The voices from outside the tunnel got louder with every step we made. The tunnel became more illuminated and before I knew it we were there. We were under the fall. Our oversized yellow rain jackets flapped in the strong breeze. The water was so loud with every crash onto the rocks, I could barely hear what Taylor was saying, but I knew we were thinking the same thing: It was awfully pretty. I have been here before, but this time I appreciated it more and really enjoyed the moment.
We ventured out to the other side of the falls in New York and fed the pigeons and seagulls salty french fries. We also took the ferry down so you could get an upclose view and really experience the falls. It was extremely windy and I could barely see no thanks to my long, tangled wet hair. The captain of the ferry got so close, that the water from the actual fall hit our face. “Oliva you have to take pictures!” is all I could think. After we dried off and had some more food, I took out my phone and saw what we encountered a few minutes ago.
The colors of the trees whisked by and the wind made my eyes water. I rolled up the window and a tried to sleep a little. My eyes fluttered on and off til I drifted asleep.
“Olivia.” kept repeating in my head several times before I realized that it wasn't me. “Liv! Wake up!” Taylor exclaimed. I slowly sat up like a sloth. “We’re finally here!” she skipped away from the car. Flustered, I shut the door, grabbed my black backpack with brown detailing, and ran after her.
We continued walking for what seemed like hours. I glanced at Taylor and she was just smiling, absorbing her surroundings. My eyes followed up from her feet to the top of her head. The trees towered over us and spoke when the wind kissed them. The crunch of the leaves became louder and louder with the absence of conversations. It was a good silence, a calming silence. As the path continued, we wandered winding down an abundance of deteriorated wooden planks.
Taylor started blabbering about cheer but I tuned her out. “Shh!” I almost whispered it. “Do you hear that?” She paused and her reply was a shaking of the head. What could that possibly be? “It’s the waterfall!” I blurted out and sprinted down the rest of the path, with Taylor close behind. I stopped abruptly to see a bridge holding hands with the rocky path I was running on. I look up and see a sky so blue and trees so vibrant, it looks like a painting. I could hear the sweet sound of the water plunging down to the bottom and the blossoming flowers giving off bright shades of pink, yellow, and purple. This place was like the Garden of Eden.
“Woah!” Taylor bumped into me and launched me to the path on the other side of the bridge. I guess she was as amazed as I was.
A few people were taking pictures with their expensive cameras or selfie sticks and others just plopped down and had a cute little picnic. As much fun as that looked, I wanted to do more. I was so intrigued by the waterfall. I wanted to get closer like we did at Niagara. I wanted to almost touch the water.
¨I want to go get closer, but…¨ Taylor sighed as she pointed to the fence a few yards before the cliff and a couple security guards making sure everyone stays safe and where they are suppose to be.
¨Yeah, I know.” I pondered for a moment then lightly tapped her shoulder. She whipped around and her eyes followed my hand pointing to the fence hidden by foliage of a big oak tree. She smiled like she was thinking the same thing as me. We looked around making sure no one was watching and swiftly ran to the fence. Since it was my idea, I had to hop the fence first. I eyed the fence up and down. It was huge and at least twice as tall as me. I reached as far up as I could, put my fingers through the diamond shaped holes, and pulled myself up. I threw my leg onto the other side of the fence when I reached the top. I gained my balance and jumped off. I scoped out the area while Taylor was hopping the fence. We looked at each other and grinned, our next step was quite clear.
“Be careful! This rock is wobbly.” Taylor said cautiously as we walked down these rigid rocks to get to the bottom.
As we were walking down, I realized that maybe jumping the fence wasn’t the best idea. I was filled with uncertainty and an uneasy feeling. Maybe we should have just enjoyed the waterfall from where it was suppose to be seen. With every step, these thoughts flooded my brain, but I pushed them back and continued walking.
I saw Taylor’s shoes and glanced up. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It was so alluring. Big boulders bulged out the side of the rock wall and created a home for different creatures. The silver colored water raced over the cliff, down to the rocks at the bottom like an olympic skier trying to win gold. The water rumbled and roared as it crashed at the bottom creating a delicate white cloud covering the sharp peaks of the rocks. At the outer edges of the cliff, water cascaded down. It smelled so fresh and pure. I walked closer examining everything I could and I saw something behind the rush of water.
“Is there a path behind the waterfall?” Taylor inquired as she hiked behind me.
“Oh my gosh! You’re right! There is.” I affirmed. We shuffled along a narrow, unstable trail that was covered in a sticky, olive green moss. Once we were behind the waterfall, I was more content than I was at Niagara. It was so much more peaceful and tranquil than anything I have ever experienced. We just sat there, enjoying ourselves, allowing the ice cold water to land on our subtle skin.
“I never want to leave.” Taylor commented and I agreed with a nod and a smile. There was beauty here, there, and everywhere in Canada. But sadly, we had to leave.
The pathway seemed more slippery and wet than before. As taylor and I were heading back, I noticed a few other brave souls who ventured out to see this beauty. Everything seemed like a blur as we were laughing then the ground under my feet seemed as light as air. I froze and a distressed scream escaped my lips. I frantically tried grabbing onto anything within reach, but every move I made was in slow motion trying to catch up to reality. My eyes shut and I winced when I felt something grip my sweaty hand. I slowly looked up to see a strange tall man holding my arm and Taylor barely holding onto the other. I was so relieved to have my feet touch the mossy ground. I cautiously glanced over the edge realizing what might my fate could have been. Looking back, if it weren’t for that man whose name I still don't know, I wouldn't be here today. I changed from being so rash and impulsive with my decisions to thinking them through and being more cautious. You need to live in the moment and enjoy the things you have been given the opportunity to experience. Without fun and life changing adventures, you will have a boring life and regret things in the future. Remember Mother Nature is quite the artist and she goes unappreciated a lot. So take a second to go out, explore, and realize how small we are in this world of pure beauty.