Monday, January 27, 2014

It is what it's cracked up to be!

Most of us contemplate the things we want to do before we die. The "bucket list" we all probably have (at least in our head) entertains more than one thing we would like to do before we die. I myself compiled a list long ago, and although I have done many of them I still have many more to see.

My Bucket List
The Great Pyramids of Giza
The Colosseum, the Pantheon and St. Peter's Basilica
Backpack trip to Ireland and Scotland
Visit Prague (perhaps one of the most beautiful architectural cities in the world)
Greece and the isle of Crete
Stand on Mt. Vesuvius
Nepal (Himalayas)
Travel to Luçon , France, where my mother's family originated
Son Doong cave in Vietnam

One of the items I was able to check off my bucket list was that of Antelope Canyon, Arizona. As you walk towards Antelope Canyon, the landscape is nearly flat. You enter on a dirt path from the Lake Powell Navajo Tribal Park with a Navajo guide. As you enter, there appears a small "crack" in the sandstone, that you squeeze into and descend down into the canyon.

Once down in the canyon, one only needs to look up and stand all amazed. This place is spiritual and nature's temple. It brings a sense of serenity, and calm to the soul. Time ceases here.

 Although I was there with friends, and people I love to hang out with, I wished I had been alone. I
would have loved even a few minutes by myself down in the canyon just to "feel" it without others around. It was a remarkable experience I shall never forget. To stand on the soft sandy bottom of this place and look upwards towards the sky is to pay your respects to whatever It is that you believe created this Earth.

The various widths of the ceiling to the canyon offers soft sunlight that falls upon the sandstone walls and highlights and drapes in dramatic forms. The water-formed sculpture within this canyon is of shear power that through geologic time has left a place that I found sacred to my spirit. The Navajo People called the Upper Antelope Canyon Tsé bighánílín The translations is "the place where water runs through rocks."

As we departed the canyon, our guide played his flute for us. The music felt like the wind and water that has flowed through this place for a long time...haunting, beautiful, sacred, and powerful.

I am grateful that the Navajo Nation is taking good care of this spiritual place, and that we were able to visit it. If you ever find yourself driving through Page, Arizona, hit highway 98 east as you will not want to miss the experience of seeing this gorgeous geologic area.

All photos the property of Rebecca Gonzales-Clayton, 2013.

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