It all started a long time ago when a little girl overheard on the news about a trend of married couples taking their wedding photos at the legendary Niagara Falls. Years have gone by and the reason for my passion with the falls changed drastically but the dreams of going there, walking along the path above the rainbows remained the same, even became more urging. So as a special, long treasured graduation gift, I picked up the passport and hopped on the megabus cruising in the night from Harrisburg to Toronto. But let’s talk about the city later because for now I just want to think back about the 6 hours at the majestic Niagara.
Niagara on the falls, a beautiful town that 45 mins cannot do it justice. As I hurriedly walked through the main street, knowing that behind what I was currently seeing were a labyrinth of streets and lives and hidden gems that I would never be able to discover, I resigned to the helplessness inside, understanding that this world is too huge for any single soul but at the same time unable to resist the need to stride away from the beaten path in order to take into sight one scene, one single view that others did not care enough to look for. And there it was, feet away from me with its glistening beauty under the spring sunlight.
I guess this vineyard was the point where the day trip started getting awesome. That made me sound like an alcoholic but that was when I could taste the honey-sweet vidal ice wine. (Yeah I forgot to mention my favorite professor once lectured the whole class about how ice wine was made and how it was one of his favorite wines) That vineyard was also where my first conversation with Katy took place, marking the beginning of hours of fun and a friendship that looked like having lasted for years.
But the main part was the falls. Every time in the past, whenever I held high hopes in a destination, the reality always struck me as less than I imagined. Much less. But Niagara was different. I didn’t need to see the falls glowing in the colorful night lights, just going in the middle of the thick mist, walking with an awesome friend to find ourselves somewhere above the rainbows and simply standing for hours admiring the magnificence of tons of water pouring right under our eyes were more than enough to make me feel like I was in a fairy tale.
Surrounded by this mist, wind, and deafening noise of the falls, I was thrilled, ecstatic. They need to create fake smoke for special effect on stage and here I am, standing in this completely natural particles of steam with my hair blowing gracefully. Who needs special effect now?
Wizard of Oz was never my favorite movie until I stood there, the meaning of Dorothy’s song “Somewhere over the rainbow” fully sunk in. Some girl has dreamed her whole life for a moment like this and there I am, feeling my life is finally complete.
But not until I walked toward the end of the road and saw for myself the origin of this legend that I felt truly overwhelmed. What would it feel like to be, say, a leaf dropped into this water, falling tens of feet down and get lost in the angry currents below?