"The dawn is my Assyria; the sun-set and moon-rise my Paphos, and unimaginable realms of faerie; broad noon shall be my England of the senses and the understanding; the night shall be my Germany of mystic philosophy and dreams"
- R.W. Emerson, Nature ch. 3. (Emerson's reference to England is a nod to Hobbes, while Germany is a nod to Kant)
What is it about Nature that causes men to be men again, as Emerson claims? What is it that revitalizes us? Perhaps it is the reconvening with our true Mother, with God, with the Divine. I wonder how much these people [read: tourists] do not see. The eye is the best artist, and if we could forsake all and be the transparent eyeball, perhaps we'd understand.
Rick and I are now at Bryce Canyon National Park. Yesterday, on the 4th, we were still at Zion National Park, and hiked through "the Narrows," literally in the river. I stayed in the water as much as I could, trying to become one with the water as Rick became one with the air, as he commented, "I feel as if I'm breathing with the canyon." It was a fantastic, transcendental moment. We hiked for ten miles before leaving the Narrows and hiking back up the three thousand foot ascent to our campsite.
This morning we packed and said goodbye to Zion as we drove up to Bryce, at an even higher elevation, stopping at a small local restaurant for lunch, local beer, and homemade pie. Unfortunately, we're camping at a campground here, surrounded by people, and this park, or the area in which we'll be sleeping and hiking tomorrow, seems way too populated - almost commercial, which begs the question, "how much of this Nature do people actually see?"
The view from Bryce point was phenomenal, where we'll be hiking tomorrow, hopefully with fewer companions. The sight was overpowering, and so Romantic (capital R, of course). I'm glad I've been sharing all of this with such wonderful company.