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Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 46:10’

Be still, and know that I am God!  Psalm 46:10

We could hear the roar of the waterfalls before we saw them. Climbing over large rocks at Overlook 1, we reached the top, and then peered over the railing to the wonder before us. “Awesome” was a word which didn’t come close to describing the view of the Potomac River as it fell over a series of steep, jagged rocks, building up speed and force as it flowed through the narrow gorge.  The water level was low, so more rocks than usual were exposed, giving an impressive show for the viewer.

My sister Tricia and I were at Great Falls National Park in Virginia. We were joined at the Overlook by several families with children of all ages, small groups of college students, and couples our parents’ age. Excited voices commented on the size, speed and power of the falls.  The force of the water was shown by the debris it carried – a tree trunk and huge tree branches were caught up in the rocks, brought there by the powerful force of the water.

Looking for a quieter trail after leaving the Overlook, we followed a rocky path along the top of the cliff. We spotted a place which allowed us to hike down to the water through a steep, narrow gap. At the water’s edge, looking back toward the falls, the sight of the falls from the ground view was breathtaking.  As we climbed back up the gap to the trail, we noticed several trees which had been fallen by the fierce thunderstorm which had swept through the area the night before. Tall, mature trees had been toppled. A few were leaners, caught by the tree branches of a neighboring tree before they could hit the ground. Elsewhere we spotted tree limbs, twisted by the wind from their trunk, dangling dangerously overhead.

We continued our hike on the cliffs, along shade covered, twisting, turning paths, climbing over rocks when necessary. As we walked, we were amazed by the many trees which grew out of the rocks around us, some so large that the rocks were split open where the tree grew through them.

Taking a detour off the main trail, we decided to eat our picnic lunch in a bright spot about 75 feet above the water. We sat on a large rock warmed by the sun. We were downriver, below the falls where the river was calmer. It was quieter, off the beaten path, a gentle stillness in this space. We became quieter, too, and our eyes opened to more than we had realized was around us. As we ate, we noticed the smaller wonders around us: a tiny cedar tree was growing in the rich soil left in the crevice of a rock by receding flood waters; beautiful tiny yellow and purple flowers grew in the harsh environment. On the tree next to us, we watched industrious ants form a column going up and then down the trunk. We couldn’t figure out what they were doing for food. Tricia put a crumb from her sandwich into the bark; silently we watched to see what would happen. Within a few minutes, the crumb was covered with ants which may have thought they hit the jackpot.

Tricia quietly pointed to a bird on the Maryland side of the river. As she pointed, a dragonfly came near us. We stayed still, and watched as the dragonfly gently hovered, then landed on Tricia’s outstretched finger.  It stayed there for a magical minute, and then flew off.

It was at this point that I realized I had been focusing on the largeness around me – the waterfalls, the huge rocks, and towering trees. Yet, God was also in the small, quiet places. I had to take the time to sit quietly and be still, to see them.

© Diane L. Neuls DeBlasio 2011

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