To me, the most magical time of day at the Grand Canyon is sunrise. It moves beyond measure. People ask, how does sunrise differ from sunset? The word that immediately comes to mind is PEACE. Sunrise at the Grand Canyon is extremely peaceful.
Last week, I had the good fortune to experience sunrise twice at the Grand Canyon. In addition, I shared my days with my mom, my sister Kathy, Beth, my friend Dawn and her family. As a bonus, I greeted my 52nd birthday watching the sun rise and dance on the walls of the Grand Canyon.
On Thursday morning, at 5:20 AM Kathy and I walked from our lodge to the canyon rim. Buses and automobiles periodically lit the dark roadways. Stars glistened in the night sky. However, with each step, night turned to day.
Kathy and I stopped at Mather Point, a popular lookout, to see the canyon from that vantage point. All cameras aimed eastward. Although folks were quiet, we decided to find a spot of our own. In a short time, we laid our blankets on a rock to witness the beginning of a brand new day. Trees framed our view. Just below our position, a crew wrapped in sleeping bags scurried down the rocks to get a “better view” of the event. Kathy and I quietly conversed because that’s what you do at sunrise… quietly be. I said, “If I can appreciate something it’s a good day.” Seeing the sun rise over the canyon my sister and I valued that moment. In unison we both said, “And today is a good day!” Photos were snapped and the awe of the canyon touched us gracefully. Kathy and I strolled westward to witness Earth’s main star irradiate the walls of the Grand Canyon. Endless beauty greeted us.
A birthday dinner at El Tovar with family and friends topped off a day of wandering the natural pulchritude. Everyone shared their Grand Canyon experience, from hiking the Bright Angel Trail to seeing Big Horn Sheep scurry about. On my solo hike from Pima Point to Hermit’s Rest I wrote a rather lengthy birthday wish. Then I cast it to the wind. It was truly a magical day.
Sunrise on April 10th started with a starry night and the moon glowing in the sky above. Beth and I sat on a bench staring at the canyon. I thought walking the rim trail from the village would be a good plan but once we started the walk I changed my mind. Instead, we walked from the Shrine of the Ages into the canyon. Once we reached the rim, the colors of a new day popped. The limestone wall radiated as the sunlight illuminated it. The red rock surrounding it gave the appearance of a campfire with various colors in the flames. It’s always amazing how the colors emerge, fade, darken, become vibrant, alive, and awe inspiring in a relatively short time. It is quite a gift.
Beth and I were settling into a spot on the rim when loud scurrying came from the canyon below. Mule deer appeared to our right. Their large ears pivoted from their crown as they assets the situation. Then they moved on. Several small birds bestowed a morning concert upon us. That was sweet.
Lor, my mom, joined Beth and I for breakfast. We shared some life stories. I am proud of Lor and her stamina. She does more than people half her age. Lor gets embarrassed when I say her age out loud so I’ll refrain. Let’s just say it starts with an 8. Years ago I showed her the canyon for the first time. It was good to bring her back to experience the canyon again. She still thinks it looks like a picture, like it can’t be real.
After exploring several east rim points we said our good byes to the canyon. At Desert View, I shared a poem. “Spirit of the wind carry me. Spirit of the wind carry me home. Spirit of the wind carry me home to myself.”
The cherry on top of my Grand Birthday: my great niece Kaitlyn Rose was born at 5:31PM. An April 10th baby girl will challenge the world, but she will also embrace it and explore all that it has to offer. Aries babies are leaders of a one man band. With or without others Aries will move ahead. I must admit, life is much better sharing it with people I love. #52 sure was GRAND! Be well…. Nancy T
* Thank you one and all for the countless well wishes via phone, mail, email, and Facebook. I banked this one.
Congratulations to Cassie & Matt ~ thanks for Kaitlyn Rose.