To Blow a Mind

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“Yippee were finally here,” my brother stated sarcastically, “This is gonna be a blast.” Although I would never admit it, I had silently agreed with his implicit meaning. The combination of a heated sports car, lack of water, and a grueling drive were enough to create these feelings. I had little desire to see the Grand Canyon. Little did I know what was in store for me.

A few yards and several cars in front of us was the entrance gate. It was a small booth containing one particularly bored looking man. He would exchange a few words and take money from the drivers of each car. My Grandpa put his foot down on the pedal with the force of a dying mouse and we gradually inched forward. The shiny sports car seemed to be almost disappointed that it was being used in such a way. After an agonizing minute or so, we reached the booth.

“Hello sir, welcome to the Grand Canyon,” sighed the man, “That’ll be five dollars.” My Grandpa reached into his wallet and took out the money. He seemed to be moving in slow motion. All I wanted was to see this dumb hole in the ground and get out of here. After an unbearably long wait, the exchange was made and we began our snail pace once more.

The next great challenge we needed to overcome was the horrors of the parking lot. Until this time I was not aware that parking lots could be as large or full as this. As we cruised along the rows upon rows of cars, my only form of entertainment was staring at the foreign license plates displayed prominently on the many bumpers. I couldn’t tell if we were driving, or being pulled by dying gerbils. Several eons passed, and we finally found a spot.

As a group, we all exited the car and found ourselves facing a small dirt path that lead into a wall of shrubbery and trees. My grandparents and sister took point, leading us to a certain death by boredom. With a groan, my brother and I followed, trailing several feet behind.

“Ah, here it is,” declared my Grandpa, “I hope you like it.”

I stepped out of the tree line and onto a slab of sandstone. In just a brief glance, I was forced to stagger back. Nothing my imagination could have conjured up could have compared to this. It was massive. The Grand Canyon was sprawled out before me. And it certainly was grand. The rock faces were not just brown, but a thousand different shades of red, white, and orange. It looked so unreal, like a painting or a backdrop. The sunlight cascaded over every surface, highlighting the details and textures of my surroundings. Birds chirped, the breeze ran smoothly over my face, and the sky had never looked bluer.

In that instance, my entire mindset changed. I went from having expectations lower than the canyon itself, to my heart racing with shock from the serenity of the scene before me. This was a moment that would live with me forever. It was an explosion of the mind. As I stared with glazed eyes at this picturesque view, I decided to never again underestimate the value of such once in a lifetime experiences.





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