Briggs Brook Falls – A Minute Meditation
Briggs Brook Falls was flowing very lightly on Memorial Day 2016, perhaps underrepresenting the potential beauty and awe that a waterfall typically offers. But the short hike and (unnecessary) bushwhack offered its own insights and foibles. The Saturday afternoon I visited was the first 90 degree day as well as the first real buggy hike of the year. I quickly regretted forgetting to bring bug spray. It’s remarkable that the video I shot wasn’t overly filled with the hundreds of mosquitos that filled the air in my immediate vicinity.
Poor judgement didn’t end there. Once I arrived at the first hint of the falls, I began moving off trail to get a better view. I first tried to climb the rocky terrain to the left of the falls. This proved fruitless, so I returned to the trail and began a similar ascent on the right side. After a good deal of sweat, mosquito bites, minor scrapes, and so on, I arrived at the top of the falls to discover the blazed trail had simply looped a little further on and back giving the patient climber a well groomed logical ascent to the top.
As I close in on nearly 50 waterfall visits and meditations, there are an abundance of lessons learned (and in this case unlearned). The first that comes to mind is the observation that human behavior can be highly unregulated and undisciplined. The delusion that we tend to act consistent with a particular set of values and principles is a prevalent misunderstanding of human nature and a source of suffering. Wisdom and contentment are not the product of a perfectly executed sequence of good intentions and decisions. It’s a messy process of mistakes and mishaps punctuated by moments of insight, offering us a practical view of what its like to live a full and happy life.
Briggs Brook Falls, Erving, MA