Friday August 24, 2012
I am sitting in the rocking chair on the front porch of our log cabin at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon Park. It is chilly, brisk, nice.
There are animal sounds around coming from unseen creatures, but mostly it is quiet and calm.
This is not a lone cabin in the woods; it is in a sort of “village” of log cabins. The cabins were all built for the other pilgrims, like us, who have made their way here to see the glory of the Canyon.
The people who are up at this hour all seem to be migrating in the direction of the coffee shop. Young people determined, straight backed strides and older folks (like me?) walking slower, looking down so they don’t trip on a stone or crack in the sidewalk.
I occasionally see someone walking back in the other direction. Triumphant they carry their coffee or maybe two cups for someone waiting for them. The steam rising against the cool air.
We have a coffee maker in our cabin. It is a wee thing and makes barely two cups; one for Nick and one for me. The coffee is fine, but the powdered creamer doesn’t do it justice.
All of the log cabins have green shingled roofs, as does the lodge building. They remind me of playing with Lincoln Logs with the kids when they were little enough to be willing to let me play.
There is so much around me and so little going on. Breathing in. Breathing out. I am breathing hard actually, because of the high altitude. It’s much harder than I remember, although, 30 plus years ago it probably wasn’t hard.
There are the quiet morning sounds. The sunlight tickles the tops of the trees. Chipmunks are skittering around. The cold air is chilling the tip of my nose.
A couple from another cabin opens their door on their way for coffee. When they close it behind them and start for their morning I hear her say “it’s warmer than it was yesterday” in a soft voice as the walk away.
This isn’t really “my” cabin, or “my” rocking chair. I don’t really live here, nor do any of my neighbors. We borrow this space and imagine ourselves lucky enough to be among the early explorers who discovered the peace and beauty of this place.
Of course, for those romanticized ancestors, it was a hard life. Yes there was all of the natural majesty of it all. But there was also the search for wood to build a fire to keep warm. No warm beds and morning cappuccino for them.