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  • I love rapids, they are for me beautiful and enchanting beyond comparison. I have to also admit that rapids are a hostile way of water to exist.

    Lakes are nice places with summer cottages, streams are cute. Cascades are romantic, rivers are made for cruises and holidays. Seas can be rough but they are also friendly and helpful, like your big brother who gives you hard time once in a while but defends you like a tiger from someone else’s bullying.

    But rapids are just hostile and dangerous. They are created to hit and smash everything that gets into them. From logs to butterflies. From boats to salmons.

    One of Finnish most gorgeous rapids is Imatra. It was for decades also famous suicidal spot to young desperate women. There’s a memorial statue beside the rapids for all the young maidens drowned in rapids. When young woman planned to end her life she went to a train and bought a single ticket to Imatra from conductor. Not return ticket.

    One-way ticket to Imatra means suicide in Finnish.

    And what about sound of water? Waves in lakes lap, streams burble. Cascades rush rhythmically, rivers sing soothingly with occasional splash when fish jumps. Swells in sea roll and sway like a lullaby, when waves reach the pebbles of beach water hisses and trickles back to the sea like mother shaking a rattle tenderly at baby.

    The sound of rapids is different. It has no rhythm or order or tenderness. It’s jagged and violent cacophony, noisier than traffic in a turnpike. Deafening collision after collision like you were witnessing an endless pearl necklace of accidents.

    There’s however something very enchanting in rapids. If I stand in the bank a long time the rapids starts to call me to hop in. The sound is full of honey in all its loudness, calling like sirens, nymphs called for Odysseus. The look of whirling, swirling water hypnotizes: Come here, I’m your curvy, loving girlfriend. I will give you the best hug of your life.

    Better keep away from that hug of water siren. That hug dark and beautiful.
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