A thin blue line is cuts across the Mojave Desert, water traversing an arid landscape, a narrowly drawn memory of the fluid motion of a landlocked sea.
While our attentions turn to the threats of wind and water along our coasts, fires burn at an unprecedented rate across the wild middle places of the American continent, leaving the earth shrouded in a thin screen of smoke, trapping the clarity of her magnificent features behind this dirty dreamlike veil…San Rafael Swell is one such feature, as magnificent and unique from every face as the singularity of a giant cresting wave upon the ocean…but we are robbed of the minute details, the clarity, the focus we need to complete the picture and engrain the memory…the smokescreen dulls our perception distracts us from the physical world around us.
As we come upon a place in the desert called Hurricane, the colorful swirling intricacies of sedimentary earth tell stories of times when the water levels rested high above our comprehension…Meanwhile on the Atlantic Coast, hurricane after hurricane lift the ocean’s waters in violent surges that threaten sea level developments…The unseen part of this story that foretells a sea change is taking place at the poles, as ice shelves break and drift, melting and reintroducing water to the seas and carbon to the atmosphere…these ideas are signs, connected physical manifestations of epochal climate change accelerating like the tale of a whip.
The water cycle, accelerated by heat, causes water vapor to rise, reach, and fall in a constant process of expansion and a release of latent energy…The more heat, the more energy…The storm, a visual expression of the energy trapped by our atmosphere, reaches into the evening light in pursuit of fuel to continue the cycle.
The perfect place from which to experience Zion National Park’s tremendous sense of grandeur is from atop Angel’s Landing…From this vantage point, the enormity of the park can be sensed on all quarters, a three dimensional spectacle…But as we criss cross the nation in the back seat of airliners, if we choose to raise the shades and peer down, we may appreciate a new vantage point on earth..and in this layered perspective within our memories and fields of view, we understand the minute nature of our place within this grand creation…tiny worlds within worlds, tiny kingdoms within kingdoms…vantage points on vantage points…
Gyring and gimbling in the wabe…Evening falls and the rolling shadows of clouds, illuminated from beneath, conjure visions of unearthly scenes as allusions to The Jaberwocky fill my thoughts…The enduring and imaginative gift of great literature.
As with anything in our feeble human existence, we seek to simplify so as to comprehend…We see massive networks of living rivers and their earthen conduit as simply a thing to be visited and viewed, subjected to selfies and bumper sticker passport stamps…yet, we walk this earth with her heartbeat profoundly displayed in complicated networks of water bringing life to the epidermal soil in one place and retreating from diseased atrophying limbs in another…If we stop to see her for her complexities, one day, we may see our viral influence on her health as she gracefully contends with the natural process of aging…We may come to understand that being good stewards of this earth is not abstract altruism, but an essential symbiotic action to secure the fate of an ecosystem of which we are a part.
On the floor of an the arid landlocked sea, ancient meanders are dashed and scattered leaving behind elongated abstract ridges of earth resembling some grand aquatic vertebrae writhing in the red earth.
Everywhere there are shadows, yet the very nature of light is to defy our sense of what is possible and to illuminate the darkness… We must be the light and, through our words and deeds, penetrate those dark places, spreading compassion, practicing empathy, sharing ideas that make us stronger, casting out those ideas that make us smaller, embracing people for their differences, changing minds, and driving out darkness. This is our Virginia. Those strangers among us who would intractably cling to darkness and hate, you demean us…leave your hatred behind and let the light into your souls so that you may join the Human race…It’s about time.