Fifteen minutes before call time, I am standing (and freezing) at the intersection where the tour bus would pick me up. My mind is too occupied to be bothered by the cold in the wee hours of a Tuesday morning in mid-December Las Vegas. In fact, I haven’t even slept enough the night before.
I am contemplating with this solo trip I am taking and how in few hours, I will finally set foot on one of my dream destinations. (The kind that you put on your bucket list.)
One by one, tourists from different countries fill the bus as the energetic driver, who also serves as the tour guide, gives enthusiastic remarks and historical facts to his half-asleep audience.
After about five hours of travel and a lunch buffet, we finally arrived at the Grand Canyon Mather point.
This lookout point along the south rim generously gives a view of almost a quarter of the entire Grand Canyon.
Then we head to Bright Angel Lodge and Lookout studio.
What looks like an old ruins of a building is actually a souvenir shop that provides a dramatic stage for the grand canyon backdrop.
After snapping photos at almost all angles I could possibly make from where I stood, I took about thirty more minutes there.
With my phone and go pro with monopods all sealed in my bag, I just stood there in silence. Absorbing every minute of wonder the mighty Grand Canyon had graciously showed me.
I almost felt meditating just by looking at its vastness. I am almost falling into a trance when a ranting teenage girl snaps me back.
Clearly, the girl’s grumpy look screamed that she had been forcefully dragged into the family trip. She was telling her mom ‘Look mom, my friends were right. There’s nothing in here. It’s just a hole in the ground!’
I tried to ignore the remark, but it echoed in my head. Are we looking at the same thing? She’s almost standing right next to me and yet we’re completely seeing two different views.
Had I gone all the way here to just see a hole in the ground? Am I seeing it this way because I have pre-programmed my mind to do so?
All those facts I have researched such as it being part of the seven natural wonders and that around 5 million people visit the grand canyon each year, then it must be ‘something’ kind of thinking?
Well, I tried to look at it from her perspective.
So, I close my eyes for about a minute clearing my mind in the process and try to look at ‘it’ as it is.
Now, I am looking at a vast multi-colored layers of rocks extending up to where my sight could reach and beyond.
Then, take away the fact that this natural landscape was a few million year process of erosion, plateau uplift and God-knows-what-else natural phenomenon.
Put aside the dramatic flow of the Colorado river which about 20 million years ago, decided to carve the canyon and cut deeper as the plateau uplifts.
Who cares about the nearly 40 major rock layers representing different strata with the oldest rock dating to up to 2 billion years. All pushed up and exposed to the public’s view in colors that are maybe yet to be discovered in canvas.
Lastly, take away my bias to nature’s beauty and damn it! She’s actually right. It’s just a usual gorge. A massive hole in the ground! But why am I crying in awe?