A few weekends ago the meteorologists called for a horrendous ice storm. From the pre-storm hype, you would have thought it was going to be a revisit of the Ice Storm of 1998. We were warned of power outages, downed trees and nearly impossible travel.

We did not get an epic storm that would be talked about for years, at least not in my neck of the woods. We got some snow and very little ice. You know … a typical winter weather event for the western mountains.

But, I bought into the hype. I don’t typically run to the store at the first mention of a storm. I can survive just fine for a day or two. This forecast had me worried, so I made sure to stock up on essentials.

I was certain I would be home-bound for at least a day or two. Since being stuck at home is my least favorite activity, I decided to get a hike in before the predicted impending doom hit.

I picked Reed Brook Falls because it is close to my house and it is an easy 1.5-mile round trip from the trailhead to an impressive waterfall. Minimal effort, maximum results.

I know the brook and the hike like the back of my hand. I’ve studied its topography, photographed nearly every angle of the trail and spent countless hours exploring the brook’s pools and banks.

I first visited the waterfall in 1998, my first summer in Maine. The trail then was different than it is now. We drove in most of the way on an old logging road that took us to the top of the falls. It was a short but precarious hike down one side of the ledge to the pools at the bottom of the falls.

Reed Brook, Kingfield Dee Menear/Franklin Journal

I recall being awestruck by the amount of water flowing over the wide ledge, the size of the boulders in the stream bed below the falls and the beauty of the forest that surrounded me.

Since that first visit, I’ve returned more times than I can count. There have been many alterations in the trail. Sections of the abutting forest have been thinned by loggers and then reclaimed by new growth. Untold gallons of water have flowed through the brook, etching the banks and smoothing stones as it passes.

One thing has stayed the same over the last two decades. The power of this tiny 2-mile long brook impresses me year-round.

In the summer, cool water pours into pools that welcome wading. Large flat rocks welcome picnickers, sunbathers and the occasional fisherman. The brook supports life, as evidenced by animal tracks left in muddy banks.

In the fall, the volume of water typically slows to a trickle. Pools become shallow and fill with colorful leaves that have fallen from the surrounding forest.

The falls often freeze, thaw and then refreeze in the winter. Yet the brook still flows and is a source of hydration for woodland creatures.

In the spring, water again flows freely and with such force, it often brings a downed tree or two as it gushes along.

On the day of my pre-storm visit, the waterfall was in a transition. Most of it was a solid mass of thick ice but off to the left of the ledge, a thin ribbon of icy water flowed, refusing to follow suit of the water before.

I took in the sights and sounds of the waterfall and realized the brook continues to bubble on during the coldest days and the darkest nights … just as it does during the warm, sunny times.

If something dams its flow, it doesn’t stop. It finds a way to keep pressing on to its destination.

It doesn’t matter the season, or the forecast, the brook continues to do the job it has been given.

As I reflected on the beauty of that day, I realized there was a lot to learn from that tiny brook.

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