Arizona, unlike every other state minus Hawaii, fails to participate in Daylight Savings Time. Thus its failure to proverbially, “spring forward,” has provided, at 5 am, darts of the rising sun thrown through the space in my blinds. And I’m up.
With coffee and a bowl of oatmeal we sit at the kitchen table and go back and forth. We take our turns with stories and questions. Most begin with, “How about that one time…” or “Where were we when…” and inevitably, “Remember…” We don’t talk about the future. Or our plans. Maybe we get too much of it from elsewhere. Maybe we consume ourselves with it everyday. Maybe, at this moment, there’s no need to look ahead. More times than not we look back. The stories we share we have lived. They have passed, but they are not our past. They have brought us to today and will be with us, hopefully, for generations.
It is now 6 am and we’re on the road, 75 miles north to The Grand Canyon. The Pines come up to within feet of the two lane highway and the faint smell of a controlled burn drifts through the woods. As we drop in elevation the Pine trees give way to Junipers and the land runs flat. With the exception of what appear to be abandoned homes on reservation land, there is nothing. Miles off, the land is divided. The browns and greens and yellows suddenly end in a fade of grey. And then, further off, a hint of green picks up again.
I stand at the rim and look forward. All depth perception has escaped me and all I see is expanse, a mural of expanse. From this vantage point it’s impossible to conceive, or understand the greatness of nature’s complexities. Every color is there. A pale blue sky falls into deep greens at the rim and begins the descent into browns, reds, grays, purples, pinks, yellows, and into the whites of the Colorado’s rapids.
The Grand Canyon will never be captured in photos. It will never be captured in words. And it will never be captured on film. It can only be captured in the eyes of it’s admirers.
We hike 3 miles down into it and sit out on a boulder looking down at a glimpse of the river. We eat our sandwiches and drink our water sitting in the Earth. We don’t go back and forth here. There is no sharing. The future isn’t here, and neither is the past. We sit here, in the Earth, and listen to the wind.