We had been away from the falls for several weeks. But when we returned to find them recharged by the rain, it was like a meeting of old friends, the kind of gathering one sees in the brick coffeehouses downtown, where tables are pushed together and chairs have coats draped over them like the ferns and moss that cling to the bare maples and line the canyon walls. Mist everywhere. Or is it steam? Trees uprooted and tumbled down, old cohorts suddenly taken and glorious in the new birth of their demise. The door swings in, the door swings out. In a deep, dark recess behind one of the falls, consumed by its roar, we meet a couple sublime in their private-public hope that things will be better this time around. We exchange smiles, find a table for ourselves a mile further down, maybe two, maybe here, maybe then, maybe now. Later, that night, after we have slept a while, the phone rings nine years ago. The message is clear: Farewell, old oak. Hello?
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