Picture a place with beautiful scenery, thriving wildlife, and heat that makes everything go silent. Take this image in your head and make it 10x more spectacular, and you have the Grand Canyon and its seemingly never-ending switchbacks. It is massive beyond comprehension, and no photo or painting can do it justice. To see it, you can stand on certain peninsulas bustling with people, but to truly experience the canyon, you have to walk down the rocky paths as the sun creeps towards the horizon. All I hear is the whistle of birds, and the crunch of the ancient stone under my feet. Personally, I enjoy being alone on these hikes, just so I can take it all in as I monotonously place one foot after another, cautiously. In a canyon so vast, it is important to be cautious, but not too cautious. Being too cautious can cause you to lose sight of the beauty, which led me to believe that isolation and silence is calming. Instead of letting questions like How many people die here each year? bother you, you stop thinking and you let the nature carry you to the bottom. But then there are other times where all you can think about is getting to the bottom, finishing the task at hand. When you really think about it though, the goal isn't just to get to the bottom and get the sense of accomplishment, it is to enjoy the journey, and take it all in. Hiking the grand canyon is like going on a journey, physically and mentally. We need to understand our goals for the future, while still acknowledging the present. This is one big lesson that I learned from hiking down into the grand canyon. It's not always about the journey's end, but the experiences and the knowledge that we gain along the way. Ask yourself, what journey are you traveling on?
May 8, 2017