Consider a lake on a misty morning, its surface smooth and still. You dive in, and the water parts, sliding supplely around your skin, its touch as light as silk. It’s evanescent, nearly intangible. Try to hold it in your hand; it slips away.
Consider a single water drop falling on a stone. Perhaps it rolls off onto the ground; perhaps it remains until the sun melts it away. Yet if water drips relentlessly in the same place for centuries, one single soft drop at a time, the stone will wear away. It doesn’t stand a chance.
Now consider trillions of water drops joined together in a raging river. As it cascades down a steeply inclined bed, the force of the water will eat its way through solid rock. Nothing soft and silky here.
Blackwater Canyon in West Virginia has been sculpted by the Blackwater River for centuries. The sandstone towers and ledges of Blackwater Falls demonstrate the force moving water can have. Nothing quite prepared me for witnessing that power in person, though.
And then, it rained. Overnight the area got quite a soaking. Tuesday morning, Blackwater Falls looked like this:
From there, I made a short, shaky video of Blackwater Falls. (Click the link to see the video. That’s Robb’s voice in the background.) This was taken a lot further away from the falls than my previous video, which makes the roar of the falls all the more impressive.
All that power, all that force, in a material that feels so silken, so insubstantial. It slices through stone like a scythe – yet rests lightly in dewy drops on the gossamer petal of a flower.
Water. It’s amazing!