Varnished desert walls, ancient and towering against an azure sky. The road snakes through the canyon following the Dolores river that tires in rhythm with autumn’s wake. Spacious solitude. It mirrors what lies within me and I breathe into the hollow of my own timeless landscape. The colors of southwestern Colorado are a feast. The iron oxide of bleeding rock, burnished and blackened, the sage in its blue green hue merges into umber tall grass and rusting soil. An eagle rests on a phone pole, purveying the meadow for movement that will fill its belly.
My senses are awakened. The scent of uninhabited land, wet earth, sagebrush and pine. The wind dries my hair into winged curls that take flight and the boundary between this finite self and the natural world dissolves. Cradled in the walls of the canyon I sigh into its other worldly embrace. These sentinels have always silenced the inquiry of my restless mind, the ache of my heart. Their presence a comfort to my transiency, to the briefness of my human life. From their stony bodies they have witnessed time claim its own. The erosion that distances history from the present moment never ceases.
I watch as fall begins to gain momentum, stealing the distinction of summers palette, the heat of desert sun, and the predictability of afternoon rain. I feel the cold breath of snow not yet fallen, of wind that will strip bare the trees that now shade. It is a strange solace to witness this timely and ritualistic death. Continuity within change. Resurrection is natures grace, it is also mine. Having cast a host of paper thin guises, as naturally as a snake sheds its skin. In my demise I am reborn. The earth swallowing its history, my history in guiltless pleasure, an insatiable lover. I am fluid, letting nature form me accordingly, just as the canyons offer no refusal to the water that shapes them. We are destroyed and made anew moment by moment by the subtlety of our own longing. Something is always thrown into the abyss of the unknown, given as a token of our trust and our surrender. We lay bare our willingness and vulnerability to face the uncertain life with noble wonder.
In the city that steals my pulse I am an exile. Far from the terrain that reflects my soul, from the broken unevenness that I boldly tread upon. Nature is my muse, the inspiration of my being. I follow it into the wilds of my own insistent heart and I lose all claim to knowing myself. In its ever changing haven I discover secret arroyo’s worn smooth by time. If I listen closely their hush will speak to me. There is a sound resiliency in surrendering to what is, accepting my own unearthed selves with curiosity and patient love. In letting go, I free my hands and take flight.