After getting to the airport in an almost completely silent car, with no PB&J sandwich made with slightly unskilled, but loving hands, dragging my two suitcases, heavy backpack and shoulder bag down the long line all by myself, having to pay $50 extra because my suitcase was 3 lbs overweight, and no one was there to say, "Here. I'll take that sweater and those flippers home with me," walking through security by myself (including that evil naked x ray machine), looking back instinctively, over and over again, and seeing no one standing, watching and smiling at me until I was out of sight, getting in the plane behind a newly engaged young couple, finding no children to keep me company, and sleeping sitting up because I forgot to bring a pillow, I turned to face the window and cried quietly to myself.
I awoke a little while later to an announcement from the pilot, an announcement that I've been waiting to hear over dozens of flights that span four years: "Ladies and gentlemen, we are currently flying over the Grand Canyon."
Golden, as if on fire, it spread below us, welcoming us into its wide, gentle arms. The water of the river winked at me, its currents moving endlessly, endlessly. These currents, with their vast power and unending determination, carving and carving away at the rock that was determined not to feel, determined not to change. Carving and carving away, these currents documented their journey, documented their history with the undulating lines of every eroded surface, all of that glimmering orange and red, laid out before me like a long and ancient tale.
I was in awe. Here it was, presented to me again in such unmistakable terms: my smallness, my insignificance, and my hopelessness at ever creating anything close to as beautiful as the world that already exists all around me. And with a surge of gratitude that I could barely contain, I thanked the universe, I thanked god, and I thanked that blessed pilot who had woken me up with his announcement. I thanked that river for its ceaseless determination, and I thanked the rock for having the courage to change.
I felt full, full, full. And I fought the urge, fought the urge, closed my eyes and fought the urge to jump.