Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Colorado River and the Canyon–

I have written about our rafting trip….about camp life, about the rapids, about some of the points of interest along the way, and all about our hiking. But there was so much more than good food, exhilarating white water and challenging hikes. Much of our time was spent quietly drifting down the Colorado….just soaking up the Canyon.


The solitude of the Canyon calls us to quiet our mind…….


To ponder and to reflect…….


To look inside ourselves….and to look around. ….to see our lives reflected, as the river reflects the sky and the canyon walls.


There is something about the Grand Canyon which speaks to us……


It speaks of timelessness and age…..Unfathomably old (the oldest exposed rocks date back 2.5 billion years!),  the Grand Canyon exposes us to an element  that our minds struggle to comprehend. We can’t help but note that the existence of mankind on earth would only amount to a minute in the lifetime of this rock.


Many things have come and gone, and the rock which now lies exposed bore witness to it all.


The Canyon speaks to us of patience and persistence - in the slow steady force of water running over rock and the gradual uplift of the earth -  that created this canyon.


It speaks of power -  whether the force of water in a flash flood which hurls massive boulders down the side canyons and forever alters the landscape, or the just the steady abrasion of the sand that cuts the river channel as it is carried along in the water.

It speaks of the forces at work in nature, and, perhaps, in our own lives.


The layers of rock that are deposited over time in the cycles of ocean and desert…….


The uplifts and upheavals……..


Molten rock (the pink granite) extruded under pressure into the cracks and crevices in the more ancient (black schist) rock layers …….


The occasional volcanic eruption that flowed lava down the side of the canyon and blocked the river’s path……..until, inevitably, the river found a way around and cut a new channel. Life flowing on……


It speaks to us of travels and journeys, of exploration and adventure.……not only of those who have rafted and explored the Canyon….but of all journeys and all rivers that have carried us.


The Colorado tumbles over rapids.…..


And it widens out to quiet pools……….

It is said that you never see the same river twice….meaning that the water that comprises the river at any one spot has flowed on and is renewed and replaced with new water. Underneath, the river bed, the rock, and the river bank are constantly being changed by the water that flows over it.


Spending time in the Canyon gives us perspective……and calls us to question. Are we insignificant because we are but a tiny part of this great creation? Or are we infinitely significant because we participate in this life and, in doing so, we help to shape the world……


In the canyon, we become one with the river, the rocks, the sunrises and the sunsets ……. with eternity.


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