The Painted Desert

I emerge from the pine forests of the Mogollon Rim onto the Colorado Plateau, a straight pathway to the town of Holbrook and the entrance to the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest.

I stop at the visitors center to get snacks and a quick bite to eat. Vegan navajo tacos are wolfed down while listening to a juke box play country music, glowing neon flashes to the rhythmic sound. I am traveling back in time.

Everything out here is from a millenia or two ago, which to most human minds is incomprehensible. If you can accept this fact, the landscapes that are before your eyes open up your mind to the reality of an always revolving and evolving planet, changing with a concept of time that our species barely grasps.

We are not the center of any perceived Universal truth.

I find this becomes more apparent as I sit on the edge of a vast desert before me, watching the clouds move quickly over the earth below. It is the peaceful ticking sound of the Earth rotating around the sun, bringing all of us one step closer to becoming part of the soil once again.

Dust to dust, as they say, return me back to Mother Earth.

The clouds are turning ominously dark off in the distance, the wind is picking up. I look out across the expansive landscape and see the dry veins of empty riverbeds cutting through the Earth.

The rain pours down onto the desert in furious fashion. I am down hiking the Blue Mesa, and am quickly soaked to the bone. The water cleanses my soul, healing my spirit and the cancers within that come from modern day to day living.

When I emerge from the canyon to the top of the Blue Mesa, I look again out onto the desert. The dried veins of the desert are flowing impressively for such a short spurt of rain.

I remember the time I was caught in a similar rainstorm on the plains of Kenya, hearing the thunder and running with giraffe and zebra searching for shelter.

I head back to Holbrook to spend a restful night in the Birds Nest before coming back to explore more of this area tomorrow.

Wench, bring my ale, what say you?

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