This is one of those images where I gave up and was forced to use a different background. It was the last photo I took before leaving Wales.
As Emily Silver, a friend on Facebook called them, they are “recontextualizations” more than failures, I suppose. Still, I always wish I could find the exact spot.
The Welsh name for the waterfall in the background is Rhaeadr Ewynnol. In English, it is simply Swallow Falls, which feels crass in comparison.
Beth and I never made it to Rhaeadr Ewynnol. We were very, very close to there, but somehow we didn’t know about it. It was a bit out of the way. Beth loved waterfalls, though, and we did get a pic in front of a modest little waterfall. Though I certainly tried, finding that random waterfall would have been impossible.
So, I visited Rhaeadr Ewynnol, instead.
After I was in Wales, I traveled to Iceland for five and a half days. I now have many photos of waterfalls. There are a ridiculous number of waterfalls in Iceland, and Beth would have loved it there.
Iceland was supposed to be an escape, of sorts; a break after a weeklong search for locations where the honeymoon photos were taken.
Instead, I ended up thinking about her constantly. It might have partly been because I was so obsessed with trying to locate that waterfall. Ironically, I ended up in Iceland where I couldn’t go 100 yards without seeing another waterfall.
It would have been nice to find the right waterfall when I was in Wales. I considered taking shots of the photo in front of waterfalls in Iceland, but it seemed silly since Beth never visited there.
I’ve read that waterfalls symbolize many things including impermanence, renewal, and purity. Rock seems like an immovable object in the face of water. But water, of course, over long periods of time, can erode earth, and transform rough rock into smooth stone. Waterfalls represent all of that, and with an inspiring beauty, all in continuous motion. They help me focus on the present moment; achieve a sort of mindfulness.
So, I guess in many ways, I now associate waterfalls with Beth. And my new journey without her, as well. I’m in continuous motion, trying to understand things like impermanence and mindfulness.
So, yeah, it’s not the right location, but I love any photo of her smiling, so this’ll have to do.