I had reason to ask myself what the hell brought me to Olumirin Water Falls Erin-Ijesha? While I battled with my ever cautious chi (personal god), I could not resist the seduction of this beauty: for Olumirin Water Falls in Osun State is craft of supreme architecture. Overcoming my inertia, I plunged deep into the fresh flowing fountain, burying my fears and anxieties in the clear water. This was the first fall.
Erin Ijesha is famed for its seven waterfalls. Each fall distinctly marks the mystical propensity of the fountain. Asides this etched metaphysical dimensions; don’t forget that Osun is the citadel of Iya Adunni – the late priestess of the Oshogbo Sacred Groove; Erin-Ijesha fall also is pragmatic. Its ability to sieve out the adventurous from the Lilly-minded enjoys universal acclaim.
Ascending the first steps that point to the first fall is usually for all. Though its dancing bridge and the mould covered greenish stones, leaves a bare feet squirming in pain, yet the first fall is all embracing. Like a mother, she opens her bosom for all visitors to the fall to soup from her clear spring. It’s after this that the ascent to the second fall begins.
While I made it through the treacherous curves and stones that garnished the elevated landscape, my wary chi, reared out in rebellion: ‘Nwa Igwe (son of the King), what will you tell your people, if you are lucky to break some few bones?’ I replied almost with a venomous tone, ‘common man, this is adventure, for once don’t be such a kill joy, free yourself and appreciate iya (mother) nature.’ My chi was not done yet, ‘Hmmm! Adventure ni, enjoyment ko! Ogwugunba* and Otumoye* (*deities of Onitsha Ado n’Idu) will bear me witness that I tried talking sense into your dumb isi ukwu (big head). If you are lucky you’ll end up in an Orthopaedic hospital, but the way you’re crawling on all fours, you’ve likely bought a business class ticket to the morgue.’
Looking up, from this distraction, I saw a woman with a baby strapped at her back with a heavy gele (head tie) graceful balanced on her head, chatting with another madam, who had a heap of firewood that seems to defy gravity. Both of them casually passed my companions and I, while we tried hard to remain on our feet. Nonetheless, I managed and defeated my cautious ringtone; I made it to the second fall.
I had erroneously believed that I had seen the best of Olumirin Water Fall. Bet you I saw nothing in the first fall. The second fall was out of this world. I came to appreciate why I am human, not an animal. Asides language which helps me to describe my intimate world of words, my eyes beheld beauty. I saw, touched and tasted beauty. I flew off on the wings of contemplation. As the water like a snake lazily sliced through the heights, it picked up velocity that slapped the flesh, pumping out like an imprisoned rebel through the thickness of the woods. I winked at my inner avatar, ‘you’re wrong man!’ This fall separated the men from the women. The third fall was something else.
While my chi was not effective in stopping me, the chi of some of my companions had an upper hand. One of us cried out that nothing on earth will make him continue. For the rather unassuming and quite Prince; it was a revelation of his hidden self. With the stubbornness of a Christmas goat, he stood his grounds, wishing us luck on our climb and opting to guard our packs. Price had his way; he stayed behind while we continued.
The climb was no different from that of the second. Through the thorns and branches, I navigated my way through. First was an upwards mount which suddenly morphed to a downward spiral. Though I was not as daring as Bola and Funto, who certainly were possessed by agwu (evil spirit); as they both went to the middle of the spring. What they intend to achieve I could not just decipher, my chi was unusually silent.
My earlier fears were soon confirmed, now I knew for certain that the duo have been won over by agwu.
When they suggested that we conquer the fourth fall, I pinched myself, these guys done kolo (gone crazy). Looking at the significance of my chi’s earlier warning, I decided that as an elder, I have to immune myself from the exuberance of youth. Lo, I was not alone, for the wisdom of the wise discerns what the young cannot and will not appreciate. The third fall marked the contrast of the foolishness of youth from the sagacity of grey haired.
Soon the climbers were down all covered with dust. They had tales to tell, not at all edifying. Most of them made it on their backside, as the slipperiness of the rocks offered no support. Need not bore you with their yarns, for I was vindicated and my chi resumed his unending chatter for being my guardian angel, despite my stubbornness.
Despite all the odds, I could not but raise my voice in a canticle of praise to Chukwu okike (God the Creator) for the immensity of nature. Olumirin Water Falls Erin-Ijesha made me appreciate why I am human; it opened my lips to shout d’alu (thank you) to the being that placed this omalicha mmiri (beautiful water) so gorgeous yet spiced with peril. But is that not what life is all about, a journey laced with risk, yet so attractive?