"Each step forward has a sacred meaning of its own" Sri Chinmoy
Cascade D'Ardent Waterfall Hike, French Alps, May 2017
Our hike on the afternoon after our trail run was to a lake just outside Morzine and a waterfall just a couple of k beyond. We gathered that the lakeside and set off together but we were all walking at different paces and soon split into groups – as you can see I hiked with Ashcharjya and on the way down we teamed up with Jean Bernard and Unnatishil, also from Paris.
Lake Montriond is a beautiful location, azure water overlooked by craggy cliffs and lush pine forest. After trekking down one shore we had a choice between heading back on the other side or adding the climb up to Cascade D’Ardent – it was a no brainer as we had plenty of time. The water looked inviting for a swim but I didn’t have my stuff and there was no-one else in the water, so maybe it’s too cold anyway. I didn’t have long to ponder this as Ashcharjya and I were soon ascending on a well-marked trail into the forest. It was a good workout, we gained height at a steady rate without any scrambling – in fact Sanjaya made it up no problem (he had walking poles and was a day or 2 short of his 79th birthday so clearly in great shape!). Once at the Cascade we were treated to great views from the bridge the crosses the main falls – the vantage point was magnificent and it was a very meditative experience looking down at the power and vibrancy of the waters plunging over the edge and down the mountainside. We were musing on the quality of waterfall meditation and I recalled that Sri Chinmoy mentions it in a couple of books – Meditate On and Love, Joy, Hapiness. In one he mentions imagining meditating in front of a waterfall for happiness, in the other he says that if you want “kindness” you can meditate on “the descent of a waterfall”.
Meditative interlude over we hiked back down and I took my leave of the others as I had to head quickly back to the start to drive back to Geneva and catch the flight home. As it happened the flight was delayed, so I missed out on another hour or two I could have spent in the mountains, but anyway it was a great afternoon that seemed to last a very long time, the surroundings tranquil and uplifting in equal measure.
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