On a recent visit to Niagara Falls, I was reminded of Ancient Greece as we drove past cities named Syracuse and Ithaca. A visit to Delphi a year ago offered a fascinating glimpse through time. Situated in the magical Greek hills that lend themselves to reverie and mystery, one climbs to the ruins of gigantic pillars of stone, man-made, that dominated not only this landscape, but much of the western world. The home of the oracle was built high above the original spring of water that still continues to bubble to the surface, marked now by a small sign, unnoticed by most, in their rush to view the remnants of a once-powerful society. I chose to sit close to the quietly flowing spring that continues to silently bring water from the depths of the earth and marked this as a sacred site long before any decision to construct the now-crumbling gigantic structure above.
Viewing Niagara Falls for the first time from the 17th floor of a lovely hotel on the Canadian side, our window offered a view of only the natural magnificence of water surging over rock. This view eliminated the all the man-made ‘stuff’ from sight. It was truly awe-inspiring. Later, walking around the Niagara River, where the sound of the traffic attempts to compete with the roar of the Falls and the man-made structures of hotels, ferris wheel, restaurants and tourist shops obscure the natural beauty of a sacred site, I could not help but wonder what a visitor to the Falls, five thousand years from now, will see? Will the remnants of a once dominant culture lie in ruins as the powerful flow of water continues to cascade over ancient cliffs? If so, will any visitor stop, like I did at Delphi, and consider this view of the history of the human family on the miraculous planet we call home?