I’m a Weather Channel junkie, and this week I’ve been glued to the screen watching rivers overflow, highways flood, people rescued from rooftops and attics. Water at its most destructive.
Yet I am reminded that it isn’t always this way. In the Arizona desert, water is precious, every single drop. On the trail around Courthouse Butte near Sedona, this little pothole has always been a favorite of mine. It’s not big–maybe a foot long and less than that deep.
But long after the monsoon rains have departed, it will hold water which sustains the desert animals: deer, javelina, coatimundi, rabbits, and pack rats. Reaching for the last drop, they will travel for miles to visit it. Water as precious as diamonds, life-sustaining.
We live on a planet of paradox!
As water takes whatever shape it is in, So free may you be about who you become. As time remains free of all that it frames May your mind stay clear of all it names. ~John O’Donohue, For Equilibrium~
The quality of light in Arizona is intense, and never more so than at sunset during monsoon season. For two summer months, the afternoon clouds build, fierce thunderstorms crash and threaten. Then it is over. Or is it?
As a photographer, I’ve learned to be patient. If I wait out the storm, and stick around for the aftermath, a brilliantly hued sunset often occurs. It is time well-spent.
The end of summer is always hard on me. Trying to cram in all the goofing off I’ve been meaning to do. ~Calvin and Hobbes~
It was a cold, sunlit morning in November when I took this photograph of the crystal water at Red Rock Crossing. Behind me were the magnificent totems of Cathedral Rock, but I chose to look down, instead.
The soft sandstone had been worn smooth by the creek that ebbs and flows according to the season, and the rock glowed red under the edge of water.
I’ve found in photography that what is behind me may more interesting as the obvious subject in front, as it was this morning.
That happens in life. Focused on what we expect to see, we ignore everything else around us. We lose the beauty gained using “soft eyes.”
I searched through rebellion, drugs, diet, mysticism, religion, intellectualism and much more, only to find that truth is basically simple and feels good, clear and right. ~Chick Corea~
There once was a flock of white doves that lived in the ledges at the top of the Spire of Castle Rock, near the Village of Oak Creek.
Each morning I would watch them circle the spire once, twice, and then disappear into the sunlit clouds. I waited for them. Their gentle flight set my world in order and welcomed me into the day.
Sometimes moments of beauty can be anticipated, and that makes them even more rich and unforgettable.
When you do fall into presence, you know it instantly, feel at home instantly. And being home, you can let loose, let go, rest in your being,
rest in awareness, in presence itself,
in your own good company. ~Jon Kabat-Zinn~
One of the amazing attributes of the dry washes in Red Rock country is that they are used as major thoroughfares when water isn’t flooding down them. Rabbits, coyotes, deer, even a mountain lion or two, travel at night through what becomes a hikers’ highway in the sunlight!
There are so many worlds that we don’t see, alternate realities that co-exist right under our noses and go undetected. This is one.
Words cannot, and probably will never, replace the richness of life–no matter how
articulately or artfully they are conveyed. ~Jon Kabat-Zinn~
Sandstone is a soft rock, its edges worn smooth by the wind and summer cloudbursts. The red color is formed by a thin layer of iron pyrite surrounding each grain of sand. But seeing the rock, prevalent in the Four Corners area of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah, is no substitute for feeling it.
On a hot summer day, embrace the rock. Feel its strength, its rough-smoothness, its solid core that existed before you arrived and will be there long after you are not.
When you see a grain of sand, you see all possible worlds with all their vast rivers and mountains. When you see a drop of water, you see the nature of all the waters of the universe. ~ Huang-Po