I spoke last night with a friend who’s in a cruel fight with cancer. Thankfully, she was feeling better than usual and sounded upbeat. We talked about books, politics, a funny movie she’d seen and the antics of a few mutual friends. She was gracious, calm, magnificent.
Rosalie and I prayed for her. “So, what would you do in her situation?” Rosalie asked me.
One answer emerged today while riding my familiar loop to Yarnell. I was feeling aware and grateful–grateful for the morning’s cool air, the light and shadow moving over the high desert, the gift of this lovely, lonely road. A string of impressions; placid thoughts with no clear thread streamed quietly through my mind as the landscape opened like a blossom ahead. A ride can sometimes seem like listening to good music.
Iron Springs Road west of Prescott–it belonged to me today
In 1928 Rene Magritte painted a nice picture of a pipe. Then, adding a handful of words, he smoked it.
Explore the Cosmos…Fast
Epiphany at Zion On this second morning of a four-day, autumn loop around the Grand Canyon, I am blown away, cobwebs gone, in open-jawed wonder in Zion National Park. Our purpose is to be creation’s audience, wrote Pulitzer-winner Annie Dillard (my paraphrase).
That a short-lived speck of ectoplasm like me has a place, much less a purpose, to evaluate, assess or contribute anything to Zion’s soaring towers carved a sand-grain at a time over mind-numbing eons, seems ridiculous…especially so as I look upward from deep shadow to sun-bathed slabs and spires. But that’s my story: Our place, job and duty is to appreciate a meaningful world and recognise our special place in it.
I’m still discovering new roads around Prescott. Heading west on Iron Springs Road instead of my usual going-to-town east launched me immediately into unexplored territory. I’d planned to take two left turns at Kirkland and Kirkland Junction to create a 50 mile loop, but I felt so wonderfully alive when I got to the second intersection…I turned right instead.
Beneath the ordinary appearance of this cold Arizona morning, marvelous worlds turned unnoticed. Chemistry, physics and thermodynamics meshed in unlikely perfection to sustain a planet brimming with life. Dazzling contraptions, teeming yet fragile, cycled endlessly into and out of existence. Earth’s intertwined systems called for a conscious observer to appreciate their complex beauty.
Today that would be me…alert envoy on a desert-colored Harley Fat Bob, taking the long way from Phoenix to Prescott.
Conscious existence in full flower