Feeling like a waterfall

July 2015. Adventure Canada’s Newfoundland and Wild Labrador voyage makes an expedition stop in Ramah Bay, Torngat Mountains National Park , Nunatsiavut.

I take a break from shuttling passengers from ship to shore by Zodiac to fill my water bottle from a waterfall, flowing from a pristine peak in the Torngat Mountains. And I begin to disappear… Waterfall_Ramah_Bay

The water wasn’t just clear, it was COLD. And it hit much harder and heavier than this long exposure indicates. I stood a little behind the main flow so as not to get totally drenched.

It took several minutes to fill up the bottle. What looks like a steady stream in the picture was actually more of a random series of varying jets and spurts. By the time I filled the bottle my sleeves were soaked.

While the water was plinking and splashing into the bottle, I began to tune into the flow. The pattern was not predictable but the steady, heavy rush of the water in pulsing sheets overhead was hypnotic. Realizing that my own body is mostly water, I felt as though I was not actually separate from the waterfall in that moment. As that awareness dawned, I seemed to enter a meditative state and felt a sudden sense of loss of self. But as quickly as it happened, I seemed to pop right back into my individual ego without meaning to.

Having sensed connection with the waterfall once, I allowed myself to be led into a meditative state again by the energy of that miraculous cascade. In essence, I felt like a waterfall.

Once my bottle was full, I filled one for a friend of mine. Then I emerged, drank deeply, and went about my day, zipping about in the Zodiac, thrilling to the sights, caring for passengers and planning the evening’s activities.

Later, back on board, I hosted our daily recap session with all passengers and staff. Off the cuff, I told the story of what had been a unique experience for me. There were a few wide eyes, a few appreciative murmurs, and more than a few dismissive guffaws.

But then Scott Forsyth, one of our photographers showed this image on the big screen. The evidence is in: in that moment, captured digitally, you can see right through me. Just like a waterfall.