This place doesn’t need us. But we need it.
It was the first thing that came into my head when I saw it.
There are few places that make you feel as though time has stopped. The nature of a tourist site pretty much makes that impossible. There is noise, there are crowds, people jostling for the best picture, the best caption, for documentation that they were there. But the Grand Canyon is a place that seems to make everything around it pause. Yes it is busy, yes there are people. But when you see it, you know. This place existed long before we were here, and it will exist long after we’re gone. It doesn’t need us. But looking at this fantastic landscape, I felt like we need it. At least, I do.
We saw it early, when the sun was just rising. I grabbed a coffee (a necessity) and headed out to the park straight from our hotel. We were so lucky to get there when we did. We watched the sun rise over the cliffs, saw the incredible colors filling the sky. There was a breeze, a welcome reminder that it was still the morning. Eventually the day grew hotter, and the park at the South Rim began to fill up with more visitors. Finally I went home, and I carried that place with me for the rest of the day. I’ve carried it with me ever since.
I feel that there are places that give us strength. We see them, and they become part of us. The experiences we have there, the people we meet, what they come to signify to us in the greater scope of our lives and how these experiences shape us as human beings are all woven together to become part of our story. Living in the Southwestern US is a new thing for me. My family is not originally from here, we are Cuban-Americans, from the Caribbean. Most of my life I’ve spent on the East Coast of the US or in Europe. Having the opportunity to explore a new part of this incredible country has been a blessing. I hope to get the opportunity to see many more throughout our time living in the Southwest.
My eyes aren’t the first to see this place, they weren’t the last. Generations of people have come before us and generations of people will come after us, to marvel at this amazing place. The Grand Canyon will likely exist long after we’re all gone. There is something very comforting in that.
Happy Fourth everyone, enjoy this special day and this Earth that we are so fortunate to call home.