last week I ventured into the desert with a couple new friends, and to our surprise we met another kindred spirit deep in a canyon! we broke bread, drank wine, meditated and hiked together. it was my third time in this particular slot canyon since my first trip into it this april. each time its magic is wholly new (and completely ancient). each time there are the staples: the cool, sweet wind that wanders through its deep, slender curves;
the way the light diffuses from the yellow of the desert day above into the cool blue hum of the deepening earth. the river of this light playing along the river of time;
the lila, or divine play, of the funhouse twists and turns, the amusement park ride feeling you get when you come out on t he other side and you just want to ride over and over again, the laughter and the curiosity and the unchecked joy of the experience, unlike any other, of being held so closely by the walls of the earth around you, yet so buoyant on a continuous stream of light and air;
each time, we stop mid-canyon to meditate in silence. this time, I guided my three companions into meditation in a little opening just big enough for us to settle into our own space but small enough for our breathing to deepen each other into that inward dive we can’t parse with language. we all connected to a presence just around the next bend– so much so that k and I opened our eyes, sure it was a lone hiker on their way through to the other side– so much so that m felt the ground shake. a white hawk perched and watched from the impossible height of the hot dry ground of the desert above.
looking up, our hearts filling with joy, I couldn’t help but think of joanna newsom’s gorgeous song ’emily’:
we could stand for a century
with our heads cocked
in the broad daylight at this thing
in bodies that don’t keep
dumbstruck with the sweetness of being
until we don’t be
there is magic here, magic that waits around every corner of every canyon– magic that is as new as now and as old as time, carving contours of light into the deep hollows of our wild hearts– and I know I’ll be back.