From time to time we humans spend hours that in the earthly scheme of things can only be rated perfect. Such were our days–Jerry’s and mine–this past Friday and Saturday on the south rim of the Grand Canyon.
The signal for the trip was rare, and its lofty nature of such significance that within our minds spun an expectation of pleasure and harmony beginning with the earliest moment of planning. On Friday Jerry and I stepped over another milestone in our lives as we embarked on our 53rd year of marriage.
The Grand Canyon is surely one of the most spectacular places on earth. In 1893 it was established as a forest reserve by President Benjamin Harrison, and in 1919, by President Theodore Roosevelt, was designated a national monument. The park is 277 river-miles long, an average of ten miles wide, and to reach the canyon floor requires a plunge one mile deep. Snaking a thin line at the base of the cliffs is the thundering Colorado River, without which there would be no Grand Canyon. It’s cool waters lunge and roar exploding in spume and foam…and then, again, lie placid and in a soft meander.
We always have this conversation, Jerry and I: What do you suspose was the reaction of the first person or group who viewed such a stunning place? How in the world did they feel as they stood before this gaping chasm? We never have an answer, of course, and as overwhelming as it is to view after hearing of it and even at prior times seeing it, we shake our heads as we think of the staggering awe that must have settled on those early explorers as they stood before that bucolic shrine.
We had visited both the south and north rim of the Grand Canyon many years ago when our children were young, and we viewed it as not only beautiful and awe inspiring, but as educational both for them and for us. As was true then, so now remains my frustration when I reach to describe that world-wondering scene. I grapple with words–is it that I need new langugage?–to write the land lay, the pitch of bird caw and the beating of wings. The rustle in the wind-brushed pinions meld with squirrel scramper and the faint sizzle of green lizard on white boulder.
Ultimately, such grandeur could only be carved by Almighty. Doubtless, He used geological forces and wind-swept eons, but the sight and sound of such magnificence demands a Creator, One whose thought and ways are impossible to comprehend. Words to tell are shy and impaired.
Laid atop such undergirding were two days of sublime rest and celebration. We checked in and found perfection.
My devotional blog is here.