Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Much Ado about Falls

On the way home from 'The Big' today (it's a five hour drive we stretched to six) we stopped at Multnomah Falls to stretch our legs. I can pretty much bet that I know everyone who is reading this, and I know you've all been up there. But just in case there is a non-Oregonian reading, let me just say that Multnomah Falls is absolutely fabulous. If you haven't been there, get in your car and go there right now. It's lovely.

My friend Sarah recommends a book called The Shack. I read it, too. There is a section in the book that talks about Multnomah Falls and a legend of a princess dying there. I can't remember exactly how the legend goes...but I was reminded of it walking up to the bridge today and wished I could have retold it to my daughter. She would have loved it.

Something else I was reminded of while there, this afternoon, and every time I drive by it, and on every January 25th, is my engagement day. What a romantic place for a proposal, huh!? Even if it was 10:30 at night, pitch black and colder than cold. I wouldn't have changed a thing! Sliding a diamond on my ring at Multnomah Falls has got to be in the dreams of millions of 19 year old girls. I showed Amy the exact spot where I agreed to marry her daddy 14 years ago. She loved it. So did I.

Yet another memory came flooding back of a time back in 1986. My dad was the youth pastor at our tiny church and was leading a group of us teens on a hike up the falls. Just at the base, before the hike even officially began, my dad did a little skippity-skip up and over the curb and broke his ankle. Now, he knew it hurt, but being the rough and tough kind of guy that he is (read: being responsible for a passel of kids for the next several hours) he went on the hike anyway. And no one even knew he was in pain until he was hobbling towards the van at the end of the day. My dad is just awesome like that. He admitted his ankle still creaks from time to time from that day!

Rats-a-matazz, I don't have any pictures from today. It was rainy and we only stopped for a bit. But as my dad was buying us our 17th cup of coffee for the day, I ran Amy and Mason the 2 tenths of a mile up to the bridge to wave back down. It felt somehow, generational. Mason commented, "Wow, Aunt Julie, it's beautiful." It really is. As the kids ran back down the curvy path towards the van (where my mom was keeping our cell phones, purses, laptops, etc safe (she is a 911 dispatcher and receives numerous break-in calls from this parking-lot)) I couldn't help but speak a prayer of thanks to God above for the beauty that is seen by everyone.
My dad and I fully plan on going back later this summer for a proper hike up. Anyone wanna join us and make memories of your own?


Tiffany said...

Awww, brings back so many memories of Multnomah Falls trips of my own. And taking my babies to nearby Benson Lake. Thank you for sharing. I will have to go pull out some pictures of my own:)

Kismet said...

What a lovely engagement story. I'll bet Amy and Katie and Yolanta will want to hear that story every time you go up there.

I am curious about that princess story now.



Blessed Mama of 4 said...

Page 27 from "The Shack" by William P Young

...The tale centered on a princess, the only child left to her aging father. The Chief loved his daughter dearly and carefully picked out a husband for her; a young warrior chief of the Clatsop tribe, whom she loved. The two tribes came together to celebrate the days of the wedding feast, but before it could begin, a terrible sickness began to spread among the men, killing many.

The elders and the chief met to discuss what they could do about the wasting disease that was quickly decimating their warriors. The oldest medicine man among them spoke of how his own of how his own father, when aged and near death, had foretold of a terrible sickness that would kill their men, an illness that could only be stopped by if a pure and innocent daughter of a chief would willingly give up her life for her people. In order to fulfill the prophesy, she must voluntarily climb to a cliff above the Big River and jump to her death on the rocks below.

A dozen young women, all daughters of the various chiefs, were brought before the council. After considerable debate the elders decided they could not ask for such a precious sacrifice, especially for a legend they weren't sure was true.

But the disease continued to spread unbated among the men and eventually the young warrior chief, the husband-to-be, fell ill with the sickness. The princess who loved him knew in her heart that something had to be done, and after cooling his fever and kissing him softly on the forehead, she slipped away.

It took her all night and the next day to reach the place spoken of in the legend, a towering cliff overlooking the Big River and the lands beyond. After praying and giving herself to the Great Spirit, she fulfilled the prophecy by jumping with out hesitation to her death on the rocks below.

Back at the villages the next morning, those who had been sick arose well and strong. There was great joy and celebration until the young warrior discovered that his beloved bride was missing. As the awareness of what had happened spread rapidly among the people, many began the journey to the place where they knew they would find her. As they silently gathered around her broken body at the base of the cliff, her grief-stricken father cried out to the Great Spirit asking that her sacrifice would always be remembered. At that moment, water began to fall from the place where she had jumped, turning into a fine mist that fell at their feet, slowly forming a beautiful pool."

christa jean said...

How horribly sad :(

Blessed Mama of 4 said...

I did a little google and that is the legend of the falls, not just made up for the Shack (which you should all read - right? ;-) ). I think that its on a plaque or something near the falls too.

(side note ... the story of the Indian Princess is not the main story line of The Shack... which you might want to read.)

(I'm done... too late, getting silly)

Tiffany said...

Because of this post I took special note of and thought I'd draw attention to the canned food model of it that is in Pioneer Place in Portland, OR. There are other models too, like The Hungry CANapillar and a globe, all made out of a canned food. It is a display meant to draw attention to hunger. The CANstruction Project is on display until Sunday.