I have a Bucket List and it is growing by the day,
filled mostly with places I am determined to travel to and experiences I will check off my list.
In high school I read “The Story of My Life” by Helen Keller and a specific passage caught my attention. In a letter to her mother dated 1893 she wrote of the experience she shared with her dear teacher and Alexander Graham Bell, “The hotel was so near the river that I could feel it rushing past by putting my hand on the window.”
I have been drawn to Niagara Falls since before I can remember. Frequent trips there with family growing up made me appreciate its size, beauty, and power.
Helen’s story of her unique experience intrigued me so much I had wondered about this and aimed to test out her theory.
We wanted to explore the world together. From the moment David heard about my curiosity over Keller’s Niagara experience he said it must be tested and we would be the ones to do it.
David was a man on a mission. This was important to me, and we knew it was all part of the plan. I always wanted to stay somewhere with a view of the falls and so, we paid the extra expense to stay in a closer hotel. It didn’t matter to him that I would be unable to actually see this magnificent spectacle.
As we checked into our suite, I realized there was another item on my list I hadn’t expected – a Jacuzzi tub. I had never known a luxury such as this, completely unaware of what I had been missing. The tub was spacious and had a beautifully carved and intricate window set into the room, with views to be enjoyed from the comfort of the soothing warmth of the Jacuzzi. Our suite also had an all enclosed alcove with floor to ceiling windows overlooking The Falls.
I do not let my lack of sight stop me from sharing these meaningful experiences that mean so much to me. I had realised though, that perhaps I should have done more Google research to find out exactly where Helen Keller had stayed, where she had felt that vibration. I wondered in what year, and what factors might have changed in the last one hundred years or so.
Using the magic of modern cell phones and having instant access to technology, we Googled it right there and then. But apparently, we were on the Canadian side while Helen had been across the way in New York State.
I stood in the alcove, my head against the window, placing my hand gently on to the glass. Nothing.
I heard a slight roar when I pressed harder with my ear to the window. It sounded like roaring traffic down in the valley. I was unsure if it was from The Falls at all. Is this perhaps what Keller felt?
Was I disappointed? Not a chance!
Being inside our luxurious suite was incredible. Watching Niagara at night with someone special is a memory I will always treasure.
Helen loved Niagara Falls and one hundred plus years after her trip to meet its rushing waters at her feet, this Canadian loves it just as much.
Kerry Kijewski is a writer and blogger living in Ontario, Canada. She has been blind since birth and lives every day to the fullest, using all her other senses. She writes to make sense of the world and her place in it. She has traveled to many beautiful locales and hopes to travel more, checking items off her Bucket List as she goes. Kerry has a blog where she writes fiction, memoir, reviews as The Blind Reviewer, and interviews with people she admires.
She also hopes to create a travel blog in the near future – for now, you can find her stories at:
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