Today was another cloudy and rainy day, so it seemed appropriate to chase waterfalls. Just last month I visited Looking Glass Falls, near Brevard in western North Carolina. At that time there were still some summer flowers, but in little more than a month it had been transformed by fall.
There were still some signs of green, including the just turning sumac in the foreground, and the evergreen rhododendrons clinging to the rock face above the falls. But maples and other trees have stopped producing chlorophyll, unmasking a fantastic tapestry of color.
In Lewis Carroll’s iconic book Through the Looking-Glass, Alice enters a strange and beautiful world by crawling through a mirror. In an epilogue, he concludes,
“In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:
Ever drifting down the stream —
Lingering in the golden gleam —
Life, what is it but a dream?”
As I stared at this scene where summer had died, and marveled at the gorgeous changes that had come here in my absence, it seemed possible that I was just a dream of this forest, forming a stream passing through time where I could only enter through the Looking Glass Falls.