The last month of the year which began so warmly has finally delivered some cold and snow to the Falls of the Ohio. The newspaper says that somewhere between two to four inches fell overnight. I’m sitting in the comfort and security of my home and all is well except for that small voice in my head telling me I need to go check out the river. The voice is persistent and annoying and makes little sense on such a bitterly cold day. Naturally, I caved in simply because snow events are uncommon here of late and as a chronicler of the Falls, I have a self-appointed mission to document what happens. I also know from past experiences that these snow and ice events can be beautiful and have a way of revealing a different side of this environment. Who knows, maybe I will come across something I’ve not seen before?
Upon arriving I discovered that my way of accessing the riverbank was gone! The trusty wooden staircase that led from the parking lot to the river is completely missing and I think that some of the maintainance issues it had finally caught up with it? To compound events further I discovered that my right boot has a hole in the sole and the cold water I just stepped in has made my sock and foot a soggy, frozen distraction. I’m about ready to get back in my car when I hear that familiar voice again.
This time that voice wasn’t coming from within me, but rather just a short distance a head of me. The voice reassured me I wasn’t suffering a relapse of the flu I recently overcame! Seemingly materializing in thin air was this small, but classic version of a snowman who asked to be called “Blanche”. I suppose that makes her a snowwoman or snowperson and it’s weird the things you think about in certain moments. I would guess that the figure was about two feet tall or so. She had a fishing float for a nose, coal eyes, and bits of red plastic around her neck and mouth. Attached to her head was a rather interesting hair comb. Blanche thanked me for showing up and apologized for “getting into my head”. It was she who had called me to the river to tell me something important. As she spoke, I forgot all about the hole in my boot.
I hope I’m getting all this right because several things were happening at once. While Blanche spoke to me she was also rolling snow into three balls of graduating sizes. What she in essence told me was that while life did originate in the water…the relationship was deeper and richer than that. Water was in fact “life” and the medium where its collective unconscious resides. It is water existing from the North Pole to South Pole in all its forms like snow, rain, ice, salty, fresh, steamy, cubed, etc…that holds the memory, wisdom, and promise of life. As it turns out water also unifies life.
As I was trying to absorb what was being told to me…I snapped a few photos and hoped that the cold wouldn’t affect my digital camera. Blanche took the three balls she created and stacked them one on top of the other.
As I watched, Blanche added a gold plastic hat she found as well as an orange golf tee for a nose. As she worked Blanche hummed a song and I watched in astonishment as a second snowperson appeared before me! Blanche said his name is “Frio”.
It was the most incredible display I had ever seen! Right before my eyes the seemingly inert snow took on another form that came to life and reinforced some of Blanche’s message to me. There would be more. Frio then asked me to continue to tell the water’s story through my blog because the fate of water and life was more important than ever. It was vital that water remained as pure and clean as possible or the normal rhythm of the planet would be disturbed. He told me that the internet was something similar to the collective unconscious and the best way to send out a message to the billions of people now living on the planet. Water and life need all the friends that can be mustered to act on its behalf.
My encounter with the Snow Folk ended in song. Before Blanche and Frio headed out they sang a song to the Falls celebrating how this is a unique place on the planet where time and space intersect in interesting ways. There was a verse dedicated to me and the continued success of my project now entering its tenth year.
I was completely charmed and captivated and thanked the Snow Folk for the song. I watched them turn and walk into the river where they completely disappeared. I’m still trying to digest this experience. It’s not everyday that water speaks to you in your own language. Thankfully, I have these photographs to show you and to add weight to Blanche and Frio’s message to us. After a while, I felt the cold again and decided this time that a mug of hot chocolate or coffee would help me feel my fingers and toes again. Happy New Year to you all from the Falls of the Ohio. See you in 2013.