Wednesday June 19 2013
It is a place I have never seen - and yet I know it.
When I first find the path I want to run, to bolt into this canyon, to tear deep inside the labyrinth and lose myself to this world.
I follow the tracks of those that have gone before me, alongside this stream beneath the monstrous sheer red walls. My footsteps and breath fall into a familiar rhythm.
The footsteps of the ancients lead over rose slickrock polished smooth as marble, over red sandstone turned to salmon powder.
I am jealous of the oak trees that guard this formidable canyon, jealous of the canyon wren who hurls her cascading trill against the red cliffs, jealous of the bluebird who flaunts his startling iridescent azure against the red rocks. I am jealous of the wispy junipers who cling by a root to a high red shelf on the walls.
I envy the ghost of an ancient hand that still catches water from this cool clear spring water;
I envy the fish who languishes in the shaded pools. I envy the Raven who flies over these walls I cannot climb. I envy the rainstorm that cascades in sheets, ripping colored parallel paths down the red-hued stone tinted by different ores.
The canyons split and twist but without hesitation, my feet remember where to go. It is the end of this box canyon that I find the treasure in the depth of this red chasm: a secret arch safeguarding where this stream is born from a slice in the rock.
It must be sacred, this place. I lay my head on the sandstone beneath the red walls, beneath this arch, beside the genesis of this spring, where others have laid before me. My hand falls in the water.
The life-water caresses my fingers, and I feel the ancient birth and erosion, death and growth of this red canyon: the present birth and erosion, the death and growth of me.