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.
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.
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.
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.
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.