The waterfall that stopped falling

I got into a car with a vague outline. The car moved and I moved with it. On the horizon an undulating line. Mountains, I registered, but which ones? I knew I knew, I actually knew at what height more or less I had to search inside my head. I fumbled around in the fog, but couldn’t reach it.

vague mountains

I found myself in a misty, intermediate state in which the stream of associations had been temporarily shut off: you register stuff, but you are not able to do anything with it.  Why? It could be a mechanism to force you to slow down, get a rest from the process of associating everything that gets inside your head with things that are already there.


The car stopped, we got out, bought tickets and started descending from a winding staircase into a wood – in the background a tinkling sound.


We circled downwards and suddenly the staircase became steep and straight and the wood turned into a plateau of huge rocks: In front of us an abyss and on the other side a mountain wall from which a river threw itself down at a high speed.

waterfall big

I was back again, clearer as never before – in my mind I could see miles away, but I chose to look outside, at the white water mass that crashed down amid misty clouds (had mine been moved over there?)

waterfall big fog

Full of energy I started jumping down the staircase. Since the fog had lifted, the inside of my head had turned into a busy place: A colony of thousands of cackling, splashing and flapping pink flamingos had settled in a lake that seemed to be without borders.

Large number of flamingos at Lake Nakuru

Then abruptly the sound of the concentrated rain storm quieted down. I started to hear birds and twigs that crunched underneath my feet. What had happened? A waterfall could not stop falling, could it?

Actually it could.

waterfall closed down rr

It was 13 pm and from 13 to 15 pm they closed the dam. Why? A waterfall didn’t need lunch, did it?

Clouds of water drops descended and the humid forest slowly turned silent. People wandered towards the exit and we were left alone.

under the waterfall

We decided to walk further into the wood following a low wall which seemed to be made out of chunks of stones, but the deeper we went inside, the more the roots took over.

wall made out of stones or roots 2

The air got heavier and foggier and became a sort of smokescreen that led you into another kind of forest.

rainbow without waterfall

Rocks seemed to follow our moves.

transparent rock

Plants seemed to walk upside down on the ceiling of caves.

plants growing upside down

And was that a moving root or a little hand?

little hands

My eyelids started becoming heavy – as always when something enchanting is about to happen – and we decided (did we?) to sit down and take a rest.

Just before I dozed off I clearly saw a rock laughing out loud without making a sound.

face in rock

In my sleep I just knew that the wood had come alive and that I needed to see it, but I obviously could not open my eyes. When I finally managed to: They all just froze in the moment, some of them in evidently very uncomfortable positions.

escaping tree

just too late to jump over the wall

sneeking away tree

sneaking away

very difficult pose

a very difficult pose

krullende boompjes

a frozen Salsa

One second later I heard a rolling thunder: The water was on its way again, filling the air with the tempestuous sound of falling and crashing water.

The trees straightened their spines and I felt the eagerness to start doing something with what I had just experienced.

power of water 2

Driving home I felt I did not want to waste any more time in the fog, no. I would not accept any opening and closing times anymore:
The dam of my own personal waterfall needed to be always open.

my own personal waterfall

running man 40 30

Image credits

Large number of flamingos at Lake Nakuru, Syllabub [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], url
All other pictures: Beyond the Frontier, CC-BY-2.0, taken at the Cascate delle Marmore, close to Terni in Italy.

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