The tunnel twists and turns, and it feels like we've been walking in here forever. It's damp and slightly slippery. Children run by us in both directions, their voices echoing in the cavern. We pass some old people who have stopped at a shrine, lighting incense and praying.
Now the tunnel is getting colder, and we hear the sound of rushing water.
Getting louder and louder. I hope this means we're close.
"Trust me," our son says. "It's worth the walk." Jason is showing us sites that he has discovered while teaching English to Japanese middle school students.
We turn a corner, and this is what we see. A waterfall directly ahead of us, so close that the water is splashing onto the observation platform. We stop dead in our tracks. We look at each other, both of our eyes spilling over like the waterfall. The grin on Jason's face says, "I told you so."
We walk to the railing, and the water mists our smiling faces. We lose track of time, dumbfounded by the thundering power just a few feet from where we stand, safely perched about half way up the falls.
Jason calls us to leave. But we never really leave. Every time I look at this painting, I re-live my surprise and delight when I got my first view of the majestic Fukoroda Falls in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan.
Happy music and art, Cinder LeDell
Stories in Paint by Cinder LeDell © 1997