Contemplation in a Canyon

I was sitting on a crest overlooking a winding canyon bed in the Canyonlands of Utah. It was mid-day and the sun was beating down so the rocks were hot underneath me, but the air still had a cool spring feeling. There was a light breeze brushing against my cheek. I was aware of the green sagebrush all around, and the fragile cryptobiotic soil crust, living soil.  Except for the breeze, everything was quite still and serene.  I was just there, in this very old place, aware of the way the canyon walls had been shaped slowly over time with the rush of flashfloods. I could hear the small wrens chirping from their crevice nests and I noticed a pair of ravens circling overhead. I guess they were probably a mated pair.  It all sounds kind of simple, as I write this story out. That is part of what makes it so incredible to me. I was just sitting, contemplating the canyon, and all of these simple things like the green of sage, and the deep red of the sandstone, the cold air, the hot rocks, the ravens circling high over head, my own sense of being a part of it all…all of it came together.  It was like I was inside the Earth and as I sat and contemplated I could feel myself being shaped infinitesimally, just like those canyon walls.

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Posted: Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

4 Responses to “Contemplation in a Canyon”

  1. Sarah Dopp says:

    When I saw the grand canyon, I was overwhelmed.

  2. Sarah Dopp says:

    I sat down and dangled my feet off the edge of it and felt like I was at the end of the world.

  3. Angela Lansbury says:

    I remember sporting my “don’t bust the crust” pin with pride in Canyonlands. The pins are given out to people to spread the word that we need to be careful to protect the fragile living organisms that make up the cryptobiotic soil.

  4. Leigh says:

    I love the idea of a “don’t bust the crust pin”!

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