The Penetrable Cliff

Metaphors included in the past: earth (cliff), water, and light

The cliff is, by far, the most important metaphor in this instance.

Upon facing the rough and high surface of the rock face, it takes some courage to approach the one small opening you see that’s available to you. Somewhat carefully, you and your party step out of the warm sun and into the smooth mouth of the cavern. Cut off from the light, it takes you a moment to adjust your sight and your body to your new surroundings. Your footsteps echo as you tentatively step forward into this place, making you jump slightly and glance around for any sign of life.

Finally, your eyes and ears adjust. Your eyes tell you that ahead and around the bend there is light, a potential exit; while your ears tell you that behind you the world is as you left it, noisy and full of life. You press on, letting your curiosity draw you farther. As you turn the corner, you are suddenly blasted with light and with the sound of the outside world as openings occur at regular intervals in the cliff face. You crave the beauty and the simplicity of the space, it being a strong reminder of the world you know you only temporarily left behind. Smiling from this experience, you press onward, feeling much more satisfied with your decision to continue into the cave and wondering what other great wonders might continue to occur in it’s depths.

You step down into a somewhat damp and dark space. Being uncomfortable in such a setting, you shift to the closest opening, even if the crevice is a little slimmer than you would normally attempt. As soon as you squeeze yourself through you are rewarded with a stunning scene. Before you, above you, all around you is space. Taking it all in at once, you find, is incredibly easy as the light of day floods the entire cave through spaces between the stalactites hanging from the ceiling. Your eyes eye these dripping rock formations; how the stalactites and stalagmites merge to form huge trunks holding up the mass of earth that you know is high above your head.

Amongst the pitter-patter of the dripping water of the newly forming stalactites you can hear the faint sound of birds and other animals of the outside world. These sounds here do not encourage you though. They are foreign in this environment, this new world you have found that makes you feel so incredibly small and insignificant. Disliking this loss of center, you begin to move through the water, gravitating toward the niches cut behind the stalactite-stalagmite formations. Here the rock is much closer to your head, and somehow, you feel safer. After finding a place to sit you turn and examine the space you just fled.

The light reflects off the watery floor, which coupled with the ripples from the dripping ceiling create a light show on the ceiling on the opposing wall you had not seen before. Your pulse slows as you gaze at this natural lightshow, it’s ripples dazzling and warming your insides until you are no longer afraid of the expanse of the space. You pick yourself up and rush out into the center of the pool, watching the light dance across the walls as you move the water in a sudden rush. Smiling and laughing, you continue to enjoy yourself silently until suddenly you cannot hold it in any longer and your laughter erupts to fill the whole cavern. As the sound of your laugh bounces back to you from the upmost corners of the space, you become startled and perhaps stop moving for a moment.

You test what you heard, moving one foot and then the other, hearing the splashes resound from the farthest reaches of the cave. Somehow, the knowledge that you have such control over your surroundings delights you. You indulge yourself for a few moments, making all the noise you very well choose.

After some minutes of this, you decide it is time to move on or to move back. You continue forward, wondering where else the path will take you. You pass through a large opening, but into a small chute where water obviously etched it’s way out in large torrents in past times. Happy that you were not caught in any such onslaught, you follow the form the water carved for you and find yourself out in the sun once again.

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