Monday, November 4, 2013

One of the wonders of the world

One of the character-building aspects of being a parent is that you're continually confronted by your own ignorance

"Look, girls!" said Bruce, as we drove past the sign, "You're going to see one of the Wonders of the World!"

"What are they?" ask Lizzy.

"Well, there are nine wonders of the world," I said, "...or maybe it's seven?..."

"I think it's seven" said Bruce. " could be nine..."

"Well, what are the others?" asked Lizzy.

Her parents spent the next five minutes trying to think of what they were and wildly disagreeing. So when we got to the hotel, we looked them up. Turns out there are a whole series of "Wonders". The seven wonders of the classical world. The nine/seven modern wonders of the world. The seven technological wonders of the world. Every website differs. On the "seven modern wonders of the world' Bruce looked at, we'd seen half of them. On the list I looked at, we hadn't seen any of them. There was even a One Hundred Wonders of the World on one website that didn't include a single place Down Under - no Ayres Rock, no Franz Joseph Glacier. I emailed the list writer and suggested he take a trip.

Whatever (as Lizzy would say). Whether Niagara Falls was on the list or not, it was a wonder to behold.

At night the falls were lit up:

But it was in daylight that the full force and beauty of the falls came into view.

It was a long trip to get there, and a late night to get home (the 7 hour trip was considerably extended by long lines at the border plus another half hour in document control on the US border). But it was utterly worth it. Sometimes, looking at the force of the natural world, you are confronted by smallness, the vulnerability, the transience of human life. And - like the confronting ignorance of parenthood - that is a good thing to remember from time to time.


  1. It looks like an amazing place! So glad you guys got to see the falls.

  2. Aren't they amazing?! We almost felt as though the falls could almost draw you in/down; we could not stop gazing at them and the wonder of God's creation.

  3. Hi Jacqui: yes - I didn't really understand why Bruce was so keen to drive all that way - but I was so glad we went! Especially around the horse shoe falls, where you could almost lean over and touch the water as it started to fall. It was mesmerizing!