The first time I walked out onto the South Rim of the Grand Canyon was by complete spontaneous accident. En route to Prescott, Arizona, my friend and I decided, "hey, why not stop at the all-American road trip stop." We had no expectations and no guidance, just a car-ride full of stories and laughter.
The road into the park was full of wide open space, swaying grasses, wild bison and shimmering trees changing all the colors of fall. The scenery simply took my breath away. At the gate, we paid our entrance fee, tossed the map in the backseat and cruised on in.
When I parked my car in the lot, I could just barely see the crest of the canyon.
I gasped out loud, "oh my god."
"No, no, no," my friend grabbed my shoulders and redirected me, "it's over here!"
Without even looking at the proper viewpoint, I was already blown off my feet.
As we walked toward the canyon edge near Desert View at Navajo Point, my entire body went limp. Without further communication, my friend and I intuited it was time to part ways and take this place in solo. I crept up to a rock protruding over the canyon and climbed atop it. The vastness literally brought me to my hands and knees.
The magnitude, the silence, the wind, the soaring eagles and the earth itself all come together here to show us how small we really are. Not a single worry could shake me on this edge. Everything felt so present and so impossibly endless. Beyond the here and now meant nothing to me, and frankly, I couldn't have tried to process anything else if I wanted to. This place sent me into a deep, involuntary meditation.
I've traveled far and wide, and this, just states away, is the most stoic place I've ever been.
And I realized, do you know what created the Grand Canyon?
This mass divide of planet earth?
It's gentle, flowing, adaptable, soft, but it is strong. It is life-giving and ever-connected. It is water.
The softest force, the greatest power.