Two Ravens, Phantom Ranch | Mark Lindsay

The seduction of Grand Canyon is overwhelming. It sucks you in, draws you down. It's a bigness with gravity. You can feel it in its depths. It pushes down on you like a giant spiritual magnet.

The small encounters seem much larger down there. Lizards seem more important, as if they were part of something so big, so immense, that their little souls were filled to the brim. The scorpions, deer, mules, and birds all connected to several billion years of earth, rocks, erosion, and history. Everyone talks about the feeling of insignificance in the face of it. Yet it is the very essence of significance itself. It's simply impossible to consider the significance of the ego, the singular being. It is about the whole of it, the crazy totality.

The birds soar and glide on the rising and falling currents of hot air that wave through Grand Canyon. They seem to be having the best time of all. They look at the sweating hikers and snorting mules with a kind of wonder. It might be that the hikers leave crumbs of trail mix in their wake. More likely the birds can't imagine circumventing the blasted place on foot. They seem so effortless in their canyon adventures.

A bug flies by. A snake scurries to the safety and coolness of a rock. One looks down to really see what goes on there, on the side of the trail. And then, looking up at the dizzying spectacle of the perilous drop, or the towering pinnacles. It all becomes too much to behold. So, one looks back at the bug again. It is there that Grand Canyon tucks it secrets away for safe keeping.