July 2, 2014.
Tiny birds dart here and there. A buzzard soars. A hummingbird buzzes. The summer wind blows. A hot wind. For its July in the Utah desert. Hot and dry during the day. Pleasant at night. Pleasant? The word is not sufficient. The nights are exquisite. Perfect for deep sleep and long desert dreams of faraway exotic places. Egypt. China. The Mediterranean.
Tall grasses, now golden in the heat of the sun, dance to mother nature’s symphony of scents and subtle sounds. A fly buzzes my ear. Then the desert silence returns. The peace. My breathing is deep. Relaxed. Off to the southwest, the LaSal Mountains tower above the blood-colored cliffs, spires, and ridges of Moab. Patches of white snow, brilliant in the morning sunshine, cling to the high mountains. The land stretches out before me. The Black Ridge Canyons. Grand Gulch. Dark Canyon. Indian Creek. Canyonlands. Glen Canyon. The Colorado River. Lake Powell. And beyond that, the Grand Canyon. Sedona. Sycamore Canyon. And an uncountable expanse of nameless gullies, slots, wrinkles, and labyrinths of winding canyons and cathedrals of polished stone. Provocative shapes and colors. Seducing me. Pulling me. Medusa. Tempting me to walk out into that desert heat. Through the sizzling sandstone. The crackling dirt. The parched cactus. The hot silence. And finding, at the last crucial moment, that Garden of Eden. The lost canyon. The city of stone and hanging gardens, dripping with precious life-quenching water with a crystal clear pool at the bottom of a polished sandstone bathtub. Hidden far away from society. Industry. Factories. Developments. And “progress”. It’s out there. I just know it. I’ve been there before.
A black raven flies close. Riding the thermals by the high ridge where I’m sitting. She gives me two squawks. Reminding me that it’s not my time. Not yet. But the desert will wait. As she does through eons of time. Perhaps in the late winter or early spring I will return. But today is just a one-nighter. A stopover on our way up north. We are on our way to the Wasatch Range of Utah. Then on to the Sawtooths in Idaho. The Cascades of Oregon. And the Pacific Northwest. The desert will wait. As she always does. So patiently.
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