Sunday, June 29, 2008

Havasu, Grand Canyon

Three Days in June… (Havasu Falls Backpack)

There is something oddly magical about being thrown together with a group of strangers, each attuned to one distant frequency. Our frequency was of course a resonance of unlikely life—water surging through an ancient and incredibly dusty, rocky inhospitable and impossibly parched region of the Southwest, a massive hydrologic scalpel slicing through the armor of earth.

Some of our party had traveled across the continent to be here, from the humid climes of Appalachia. Others of our group came from just a few hours distant over the nearly monochromatic landscape of ponderosa pine and scrubby juniper beyond the rim.

Approaching Supai, the native village just two miles from the cascades but eight from the treks beginning, is akin to transiting from one world to the another, and from one time to another. This surreal experience continues throughout the visit into the depths of the primordial canyon—a continual transiting from past to present, a split reality of ancient culture and technology mixed with 21st century modernity.

Such incredible forces at work—heat, water, wind, tectonics, gravity, time… mixed with a palpable serenity that happily infects. A welcome juxtaposition of visual and sensory experience, a pleasant and engaging opposition. Location must be paramount in the lives of many (all?), transitory as our locations and lives may be.

Three days in late June was enough to glimpse the magic of connection between people, cultures and landscape. Three days was enough to access parts of the cluttered self, to shed a bit of baggage and resonate with something timeless and beautiful. Just enough time to understand the necessity of reconnection, the ongoing need feel a part of something magical. –Bennett Barthelemy