As a twenty-five year resident of Grand Canyon National Park, I often get asked, “Do the views ever get old?”
“Not yet,” I’ll reply without a moment’s deliberation. And how could they? Anyone who has spent any time gaping at the canyon can attest to the fact that the light and shadows change from moment to moment; and every new vantage—after as little as a five minute stroll—can yield a fresh perspective.
A trickier question I often ask myself is whether or not I am taking my easy access to the canyon for granted. Even the most dedicated canyon junkie would have to confess to this from time to time.
I have found that a surefire cure to creeping disregard is an absence of any duration. I was reminded of this phenomenon during today’s sunrise. After a weeklong trip to my native Iowa, filled with family, fun, and the familiar surroundings of my youth, I didn’t feel I had truly returned to Grand Canyon until I made my way to the rim.
Perched along the rim wall a short distance from the El Tovar Hotel, there it was. Just the way I had left it. But with a little more shimmer than normal, courtesy of the renewed gratitude I have for my favorite landscape. And a place I am proud to call home.
Have a wonderful Independence Day holiday, one and all. If you are planning to make your way to the park to take in a few views firsthand, try to get here early to beat the heat and inevitable lines at the entrance gates.