This was my 4th visit to the Canyon, and I am embarrassed to admit I had a bit of a nonchalant attitude about going; you know “been there, done that”. I am glad to report that there is NOTHING nonchalant about the Grand Canyon, no matter how many times you have seen it.
It is hard to adequately describe the experience of standing at the rim of the Grand Canyon.
Of course there is a sense of awe and wonder at the amazing beauty and vastness. But you also get to experience the spirit of the Canyon and a powerful, positive energy that is undeniable.
This trip was a bucket list item for my sister in-law Marty, who has some visual impairment and reduced abilities due to a stroke she suffered many years ago. What she really wanted to experience was the sunrise and sunset at the Canyon. She was determined not to let her limitations and the changes in her circumstances hold her back.
To help out with some of the logistics, my sister Kathy and I joined Marty and my brother David on their Grand Canyon adventure.
With Marty’s vision issues, we didn’t really know exactly what she could or couldn’t see. We kept pointing things out, and describing the colors and shadows, and then finally realized that it did not even matter what she could or could not see. That in fact we all “see” and experience the Canyon differently and that is part of what makes it so great.
The bottom line is that Marty felt fulfilled and the trip was everything she had hoped for. And thanks to her determination, Kathy, David and I got to re-experience this amazing place. (And I got a new hat).
What I learned about the Park:
Once again, I encourage everyone to stop in at the Visitor Center at any of the parks you visit. They always have such great information. We were able to watch an amazing film about the history of the Canyon as well learn about how the Canyon tells us so much about the Earth. Not, kidding, some of the rocks at the bottom of the Canyon are dated as far back as 1.8 billion years.
What I learned about myself:
Two things. First, I can never really get enough of the great beauty available in our National Parks. I really didn’t think I “needed” to see this park again, and to my utter delight – it was just as breathtaking and amazing as the first time.
It makes me realize that as time goes on, I will always be a different person, in a different place in life, open to different things, so I will always be able to experience these parks in a new way.
Second, I am so much more aware of how needs change as we age. It is not easy to think that at some point I too will need to ask for help.
I am thankful that I have such a generous, loving family on which I can depend. I am extremely grateful for being so blessed.
Some thoughts for you:
I was very inspired by Marty and David’s determination and spirit, and I hope they have provided some inspiration for you too. Even though they cannot experience the parks in the same way they used to, they were determined to make this trip, and to learn new ways to enjoy being there. I hope you can find some new ways too.
Remember — Get out there and have fun!!!!
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