Canyon Calling

Haiku Series:

listen to these trees,
Ponderosa stories from
centuries ago.

don’t forget to blink.
is this real or a painting?
this canyon is grand.
red and black ants
with a never ending goal.
how big is this world?
don’t crush the flowers,
these pine cones are stepping stones.
please live and let live.


I laid there upon a short traverse between the top of the Coconino ridge line and a small summit, as fas as I know, un-named.
My body, mind and spirit were connected to the red dirt, like a magnet to the back of a car flying down a forest road, wind flowing over me from every direction. The rim looked down on me from a few hundred feet above, and the river bottom was calling me from close to one thousand feet below.
There I was, laying somewhere in the middle of this vast and very grand landscape; however my mind was flying far beyond that, in unknown worlds, millions of miles away.

Havasupai River Rocks

As I move forward through this timeless canyon, the sun beats down on me from above, while my boots, as if transferring the energy, beat down on the loose river rock below. Here I am, caught in the middle of this beautifully violent transaction, ever changing with each step that I take.
The sun grows hotter as these rocks dance beneath my feet, becoming more and more polished as I venture on. They look up at me with anticipation; with a strong desire for interaction that will offer a much more invigorating experience than the seasonally scheduled flowing water or falling rain.
Each rock has a story, a unique history that will forever change and see no end. The boots, the hooves, the water, the howling wind and the unbearably invasive sand that comes along with it all.
As I look down on these rocks, I am reminded that they have been here much longer than I have. I am encouraged to feel significant as a person, to feel amazing in my feats, to feel proud of what I have accomplished and to be excited for my future. But to these rocks, I am just a speck on this earth that is so insignificant that they can’t even see me, or my boot, casually crushing down upon them and their neighbors.
They are hundreds of thousands of years my senior. They have seen things that I have never seen and they will see things that I will never see. To them I am just a speck that has passed by, likely to never come their way again; they will continue to be stepped on by specks of existence for hundreds of thousands of years to come.
They are immortal, but not by choice. They sit, and sit, and sit, and they wait for the opportunity for an invigorating experience to pass their way once again. They ponder, “Who will it be? Who’s path will cross my way next?”. So now, in this moment, I feel truly blessed to be able to control the outcome of these ever pressing concerns which haunt the river rocks who sit, and sit, and sit, everlasting.
I will be on this earth for such a small fraction of time compared to these rocks. A fraction of time so small, that to them, it will be deemed unmeasurable.
So what does one do with such a small, comparatively insignificant, amount of time? The answer is simple. One must do everything possible, everything in their power to achieve their dreams, goals and aspirations.
This life we live is viewed, by many, as incredibly flexible, as spare change in an invisible (yet readily available) piggy bank which is funded by interest earned simply by being alive. As if these stocked up seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years can be retrieved at any given time, when needed the most.
The inconvenient truth, however, is that (unlike the river rocks, who would die to be alive) we have no time at all. Time is simply an illusion that was created to remind us of moments from the past. It is undeniably impossible to invest time into the future.

The real challenge is to always remember and embrace the present. To truly and fully embrace that voice you last heard, that face you last saw, that touch you last felt, and that breath you just took; and the fact that it all could very well be your last.

(photo: Megan Rogers)

Passenger Side

We drive, mile after mile, in search of the brightest display of holiday lights.

Some houses have no lights at all, as if they never got the message, or never wanted to. Some houses shine much too brightly, compensating for the previous eleven months of darkness. Then there are the houses that are set up just right, sparkling with spirit and warming this cold night. The lights dance for us in rhythm to the low volume holiday tunes fading in and out of recognition on the radio; our topics of conversation blend effortlessly from one into the other.

The windows stay down with the temperature, our bodies and breath heating up the space between. We continue on, destination unknown. The crisp December air is a cold and refreshing reminder that this is real.

I lean forward and fog up the front corner of the passenger’s side with the hot ­coco heat escaping from my lips. I draw a crooked heart with my index finger and fill in the center with a quick scribble. She says it’s “cute”, as it slowly fades away.

I yearn for that crooked heart to reappear. With all the windows up, when the heat from these heavy hearts is just too much, the windows will fog and the crooked heart will shine through; the world as we know it will fade into nothingness. Just two heavy hearts racing to the same beat, inside this tiny two-seat paradise.

We drive on, house after house adorned with varying levels of holiday spirit.

Every now and then, I see the reflection of the Christmas lights in her eyes, but just the slightest glimmer, as from the passenger’s side. Maybe if I leaned in a little closer, I would be able to see the full display reflecting in her eyes. The draw is magnetic beyond belief, and it doesn’t take much for my focus to transfer from that of the image reflected to the reflective surface in itself. Being aware of this transition is a very invigorating feeling.

In this moment, I imagine and conceptualize the idea that you can only lean over a placid pond so much, while staring down into it’s reflection of the beautiful sky above, before you fall in face first. You’ll find that this refreshing yet chaotic encounter will create a ripple effect, disrupting the serene reflection you fell so deeply into, but all that will be lost without worry, because the passion in your senses has switched from an image of lust to a physical embrace that can be felt throughout the depths of your core.

So I lean in dangerously close, to get a better glimpse of the reflection in her eyes, well aware of the risks of falling in too deep.

There is a fine line between the natural sparkle in her eyes and the pulsing electricity that surrounds us. I walk the line.

It’s getting colder as we sit parked outside of the greatest light display of the night. She simultaneously controls the windows and temperature in this ride to rise. I can feel my heart beating clear up into my head, keeping pace with the flickering lights that illuminate our faces in this small, dark, private space.

All begins to disappear. Am I day­dreaming at night again, or am I experiencing the raw and pure emotional ecstasy that I’ve only ever felt in dreams? This can’t be real … or can it?

The holiday music continues to play on the radio, but all I can hear is lub­dub, lub­dub, lub­dub. The strobe effect from outside that has thus far lit up our night continues to pulse on, but all I see is a steady transitional slow­ motion glow fading in and out of reds, greens and golds. And I know it’s still cold out, but my skin is hot to her touch, a warmth that I can feel radiating deep into my soul.

As I lean ever closer, trying to fall deep into the reflection in her eyes, I can’t help but notice out of the corner of mine, that the crooked heart has re­appeared on the passenger’s side.