travel

Seeking a Sense of Place at the Grand Canyon

Vishnu Temple, Grand Canyon in winter
This is known as the Vishnu Temple formation.

I had wanted to visit the Grand Canyon and experience the vastness of the place. I wanted to tune into its energy and feel the sacredness of time. Instead, I was entirely distracted by the hordes of loud people. We heard many languages, and the air of excitement was palatable, particularly in the area that is normally the visitors’ first view of the canyon. There were a good 8 inches of snow on the ground, and it varied from hard-pack to drifts of a couple of feet everywhere we went.

Grand Canyon in Winter

The poor tourists were grossly under-dressed for the weather. In sub-freezing weather and deep snow, we saw visitors in dress shoes and thin jackets, and yet, they were the most exuberant ones there! They were often holding selfie sticks and posing for their fan base.

Grand Canyon in Winter

If I had traveled half-way around the world, I would probably want a selfie, too, to commemorate the moment. It made me sad to see them spending very little time looking at the Canyon, focusing instead on positioning their cell phone to get their best side or cleavage. They were there for the bragging rights, and that was about it.

Grand Canyon in winter

The crowds were much smaller at the other viewing areas; I guess one look was enough for many of them. I somehow felt offended that the Canyon received so little of their attention. Silly, right?

My husband and I searched hard to find a place to view the Canyon where we could be alone with it so that we could get a sense of place as the quiet soaked in. I sought a relationship with the Earth and wanted to see the breadth and depth of the Canyon that is hard to see under the harsh summer sun that washes out all the rich colors and hides the details. I enjoyed seeing the snow make the layers of time come alive.

Grand Canyon in winter.

We finally found a quiet place to enjoy the canyon alone as the shadows grew long. Rather than feeling solemn and peaceful, we found ourselves…happy! I didn’t expect that, but I am certainly willing to accept it.

snowman, peed upon
This really made us laugh. There were numerous dogs with tourists, but our pups were warm in the camper. Someone peed on the snowman – hopefully a dog!

16 replies »

  1. I loved this. ☺️💕I would have felt exactly the same way. I ‘feel’ nature quite deeply, these days. Nature feels like heaven, and humans just feel like…well, humans. 😂Just imagine if we really could have the luxuary of connecting with the Grand Canyons’ and the Niagra Falls’ of the world, alone. What BLISS that would be! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • We had hoped to find less crowds in the winter, as the temperature was below freezing daily and near zero at night. These may have been small crowds, but they were large enough to impact our enjoyment. Still, we finally found space alone where we could revel in the space. This is just the way it is for introverts, I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

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