Writing in the Grand Canyon
Lonner F. Holden

With thumbs tucked under the tight harness of shoulder straps, my feet answer the North Kaibab Trail’s uneven mischief. Its dust-gloved hand knocks at the door of my boot treads, inviting me to wake up. Verdant feather dusters of ponderosa pine, waving stark against a turquoise sky, are eaten by the red rock jaws of the rim as I stutter down the trail on its broken teeth. The forest slowly disappears above with my descent into the Canyon’s gaping mouth. The massive bookend of striated cliff on my right counter-weights the vast expanse of space to my left. I am merging with this rare cathedral of stone and light that time has carved out of the Colorado Plateau.

Later, after setting up camp and enjoying a nourishing meal, I sequester myself with paper and pen amid cacti and cottonwood. Deep in the belly of the Canyon my back fits the form of a long ago flash-flood-delivered boulder, eyes lifted up beyond tent tops to the crisp and rugged lip of mile-high walls. With the oracle of the creek’s carving waters lulling my senses, the dance of stone and light turns gently upon the floor of my psyche. I begin to write…

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