Vast, awesome, unfathomable, and truly unique. All just a few terms that easily fall short of describing the experience of that first time you walk up and look all out across that 5 million year old hole in the ground we call the Grand Canyon. Any more attempt at describing the thing would be fruitless and as pointless as trying to understand its size while standing looking down into its belly.
We could see tiny slivers of the Colorado boasting through from our vantage at Yavapai Point, the mightiest river in the world, or at least theist determined, having been determined so many eons ago to make its way through the sedimentary, the igneous, the metamorphic, every golden, maroon and black layer history of this flailing space rock of Earth.
We walked the rim a few miles, every corner a new color, new distant view, the feeling of suspended fear of heights pushing up on us all, even as the youngest or bravest of us ventured step by inchworm step closer to the edge, precipitous, frightening and inviting. To run amd jump from this Paul Bunyon Trail into the depths of Mother Gaia would easily be the most fulfilling way to die.
Later, as the sum wore itself out, our grill’s charcoals losing their glow and belly’s filled with tuna steaks and golden sweet cobbed corn, we would celebrate a birthday as we watched meteors shower down through a black sky, the Milky Way their eternally distant backdrop.
The boys would make wishes on each one, some instant flecks of speeding light, others blessed with a comet’s tail as they slowly fizzled into our atmosphere. Myself, I didn’t wish upon a single star, not out of waste or misguided notions of the frivalty or child’s play of such an endeavor, but simply because I have so little left to wish for. I’m happy thankful for everything I’ve lucked upon, and if it all had to end tomorrow, perhaps over that Grand Canyon of a cliffside, I would be satisfied enough for three lifetimes.