11.30.2006,7:19 PM
Texas Canyonlands I: Canyon Night and Morning

Night and morning in the Canyons

From the journal……

On the hike back to my campsite I heard coyotes in the distance. A large fat doe burst out of the brush in front of me and bounded across the pathway. A larger and eager looking buck, also fat, with white tail flagging, pranced after her………after one quick stop in the middle of the path where he looked at me. I stood still and met his stare with my own, breath held so I didn’t move. He nodded his head and off he went.

Owl hoots greeted me as I approached my campsite where I hurried to cook up some dinner before darkness rushed in, which it does quickly here on the canyon floor. The sun ducks behind the ridges and all that remains is an afterglow; darkness creeps in behind that and easily catches one off guard.

I was starving and tired. My left ankle and foot, which have been out of a cast less than a year, were swollen, hot and aching. Good thing I made room for those boots. I think some Advil is in order tonight.

Saturday, November…. What day is this? Who cares.

I slept well, but my arthritic left hip aches, so I tossed and turned all night.

Coyotes were yapping in my dreams. I dreamt I was talking to one and he was describing what life is like down here on the canyon floor. He interrupted himself with barks and I was nodding at him as if excusing him for his lapse in language command.

Dragged kicking and reluctantly out of sleep, I realized that coyote was right outside my tent door. A few barks followed by a yip or two, then a gap of silence. As if he was yelling at me,
Hey! I’m talking to you!! Wake up!

I could hear his tentative paw falls as he paced outside my tent door. Then he started up yelling at me again.
I finally sat up in my sleeping bag and yelled “Okay! I’m awake!!”

With a quick yelp, he scurried off into the distance. I heard his brethren answer on the other side of the tent and a ways off.

I clumsily pulled myself out of the two sleeping bags, pulled on long-sleeved and sweat shirts over the UnderArmours, set the sandals outside the tent door and grabbed my sweat pant bottoms. It was easier to pull those on standing up outside the tent.

Popping my head outside the tent door, I caught the edges of brilliant rose and lavender in the eastern sky. Turning to the east my eyes and sleepy brain were slammed into the most gorgeous colorful lightshow of a sunrise.

“Oh my God….”

I ducked into the tent, grabbed the camera and threw the sweatpants on top of the tent. Oblivious to the cold and wearing only the UnderArmour bottoms, I literally slammed my feet into the sandals and ran out to an opening in front of my camp site that offered the best view, removing the lens cap and powering up the camera all at the same time.

The light and colors changed rapidly; I had to move fast. Here, along with the muted colors of the canyon walls, was the most magnificent earthen lightshow. And I was bathed in all its glory.

Here were two rainbows; the canyons colors beginning to glow in the light and the quickly changing brilliant colors in the sky. Each second the hues of reds, violet, blues, yellow and whites evolved as if to remind us not only does this Mothership rotate in orbit, but also rotates around a glowing furnace of light; the sun.

It was fantastic and incredulous, this new beginning of another day. I realized my heart was pounding and I was grinning inside and out. How often do we awake and truly rejoice in the beginning of a new day? Rather than just roll out of bed on autopilot and move through the day like zombies? This was not “Another Day, Another Dollar” day. Which I hear every day.

That is no way to live.

This is.


posted by Macrobe
Permalink ¤