The Canyon Speaks: Cedar Mesa Part 4
I move slowly, careful not to move a piece of pottery out of place. I realize now, that I’m walking in a museum. Everything is in its perfect place. I, too, am part of the exhibit. Modern day man. We leave our footprints in the sand. Our paths on the land. Everything has its story. Some millions of years old. Some hundreds of years old. Others just minutes. More stories than could ever be told. I keep coming back for more.
Saturday and Sunday were busy days on the trail. I passed at least one person each day. But today is Monday and the crowds are gone. I have the place to myself once again. It feels like the first day of true solo. The typical longings and cravings have arrived. It is getting dark. A full moon on the rise. The cravings subside and I feel nothing but calmness. I’m lucky to be here.
“Don’t be one way, wishing for another. Only to arrive at the new way, wishing for the first.”
These are the things that wash over my mind in places such as this. Where do they come from?
Morning. The sun creeps over the east canyon wall and wakes me from my slumber. It’s late morning and I’ve slept in. Instantly, I’m famished. I move to the shade of my juniper, make tea and oatmeal, and listen to the sounds of the morning. It is the sweetest time of day.
I’m three days into this canyon. Middle of the trip. Today I must decide whether to head back the way I came or attempt to hike out a different canyon. One that would require some route finding and a hitchhike 15 miles back to my car. I most likely won’t decide this until my pack is strapped to my shoulders and take the first step. A method that has served me well up until this point. But first, I have more important things to do. Like testing the walls for echoes.
I could stay out here for weeks, I tell myself. If it weren’t for the allure of things such as cold draft beer in frosted pint glasses, burgers and fries, tacos. I know these to be false promises. Always leaving me longing for the next indulgement,. The next fix. An endless, maddening process. But I allow them to lead me back to civilization anyhow. There is no other way to be who I am.
In three days, I will leave this paradise of beauty and simplicity for a world of desire and temptation. Perhaps because each world makes the other that much sweeter.
“Without work, can you really enjoy the play?”
“Without clouds, can you really enjoy the sun?”
“Without sound, can you really enjoy the silence?”
More profound thoughts. Childlike, yet true.
Could I travel forever without longing for the comforts of home?
Doesn’t our mind always want something else? We’re sad and we wish we were happy. We’re hot and we wish we were cold. We’re in one place and we wish we were in another. Does our pain really come from our life situation, or does it come from our desire for something else? Something else surely comes along soon enough, does it not? Are we not running in circles, chasing our own tails? Must we always be chasing the next “better moment”, just around the corner?” As fast as we try to run, can we ever get to the future? Does it even exist? Perhaps now is it. Our lives unfolding right before our eyes. Perhaps we just need to change focus.