Into The Sun
A few hundred feet above Palm Canyon, the silence begins to sink in.
I first noticed the stillness as I woke from a night of deep, dreamless sleep. There were songs in my head, and songs in the trees. Just outside my window, chirps and warbles of every aviary denomination sang praise to the early morning.
High above the canyon, my heartbeat settled from a strenuous climb, my breath returned to normal, I hear only a faint rustle of wind, and the distant rumbling of water through rocks.
I have always loved a good road trip. When I was nine-years-old, my father drove my brother and me from Chicago to Denver. In the back seat of a brown station wagon, a fire for the wide open spaces, and the great expanses of this enormous country, was lit.
Years later, I would load my red Nissan Sentra with just a sleeping bag, some canned goods, and my guitar, and point myself towards San Diego. In the 8,553 miles that elapsed that summer, through the vast plains of North Dakota, the brick-colored canyons of Arizona, through Telluride, Santa Fe, and Graceland, I grew to appreciate the drone of the tires, the rush of the wind, and the forward progress they represented.
And the quiet, without, and within.
This adventure, then, returns me to those days. Between deadlines, events, cities, and airports, I stole away to the desert. There are surprises here. There is the surprise of a great, empty canyon never explored. There is the surprise of water flowing amidst barren, arid earth. And there is surprise in the gifts that quiet bestow.
As I descend through the creeping shadows, tiny lizards scurry along the trail. Morning doves flutter from the cactus. Heat radiates from every massive boulder. And soon I have returned to earth, salt on my skin, songs in my heart.