Matter of Perspective

Being on top of the world is great.  They say it’s lonely at the top, but I had my family (hubby manning the camera), so I liked it.  I could see Sedona in the distance, and trees for what seemed like miles around me.   Okay, so it wasn’t exactly the top of the world – it was on top of Devil’s Bridge, but it was a rush anyway.

Not being on top of the world is great, too.  They say it stinks to be the little guy, trampled on as the others clamor to get to the top.  Maybe in the corporate world, this holds true, but I rather enjoyed the view of the underside of Devil’s Bridge.  The trees that looked so small suddenly dwarfed me.  I appreciated the grandness of the bridge I casually crossed earlier.

The way I see it, the difference between being on top of the world and crawling along the ground is a matter of perspective.  Both are special, both are unique, and both can be beautiful- if I choose to see beyond what is directly in front of me.

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Cloud Games

Clouds peek over mountains and trees

Some clouds play

Hide-and-seek;

This one says,

“Don’t mess with me!”

This cloud looks like it’s flexing muscles, but I snapped the pic anyway!

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I’ve written many times about life happening, and boy has it decided to happen right now.  Computer problems, camping trips, unexpected projects and deadlines and work, sick relatives, back-to-school preparation- yes, we have it all!  Oddly enough, I don’t feel burdened with stress.  I guess that’s a nice side effect of keeping my head in the clouds 🙂

I know I have lots of blog reading to catch up on.  I do hope this week cooperates and allows me that time.  To those I read regularly, and to new visitors whom I’ve not visited yet- I appreciate your patience!

Off The Beaten Path

Our version of Slide Rock

Beauty is what we find

When we follow our hearts,

Rather than a paper map.

Joys is what builds inside;

It’s what we are,

When we choose our path.

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I avoid crowds.  It’s not that I’m anti-social; it’s just that I don’t like to be around people.  That doesn’t seem friendly.  Let me try again.  I don’t want to step on toes, rub elbows with, or bump into dozens of strangers when I’m on vacation (or anytime, really).  In crowded places, I experience chest pain and trouble breathing – I feel trapped.  I do what I can to avoid that feeling.

So, I guess this means I don’t like to be around people 🙂

We travel to Sedona, Arizona several times a year.  I’ve lived in Arizona for….well, more than half my life (not going to reveal exactly how many years because that makes me feel old!) and I’ve never visited Slide Rock State Park.  The cars parked on the narrow shoulders for a mile before and after the park entrance can only mean one thing:  tons of people.

Picture of slide rock taken from our moving car!

Of course, Slide Rock is a big draw during the summertime because the Arizona desert is hot and the creek water is cold.  You slide on mossy rocks as the water carries you down the creek (says my husband, who has done it.)

The first picture on this post was our version of Slide Rock.  We spent forty-five minutes in that area and only one other person passed by.  My older son let the current carry him a couple hundred feet, squealing the whole time.  I know the rocks were quite slippery because I lost my footing as I stepped gingerly into the creek.  Good thing hubby has quick reflexes or I’d have a broken tailbone and bag of ruined phones and cameras right now 🙂

The point is, we rely too much on maps, guidebooks and websites.  We’re often too focused on the destination rather than the journey.  When we stick to the beaten path, we miss the rest of the world that’s just waiting for us to take it in.

Find beauty.  Feel joy.  Have fun.  Explore!

Creek Lessons

When we go camping, my goal is to bring tons of snacks, but leave the heavy thinking at home.  Invariably, as my body assumes a vegetative state, my brain decides to shift into creative mode.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful when I think of workable ideas, but me being the picky person I am, I’d rather it be when I wasn’t too lazy to get paper and pen.

After a half-mile hike into Oak Creek Canyon, I rested with my legs in the chilly creek water.  While the kids searched for fish, I sat on a large rock and closed my eyes.  I listened to the roar of the water and wind blowing through the trees.  That’s when it started.

Any other time (like when I desperately need it) my brain lies dormant.  But in this moment when I wanted to do nothing, I had the urge to take pictures; to observe.  A blog post took form during those couple hours by the water.  The creek became my teacher.  I can’t wait to repeat the class 🙂  Here are a few things I learned:

Sometimes things are rough,

but calm awaits up ahead.

Sometimes we don’t get what we want.

Kiddos went fishing, but caught crabs instead.  Wait, that sounds bad. Oh, just check out one of the crustaceans they found!

Sometimes we get what we asked for, but it’s not what we expected.

Kiddos hoped for a fish you could see without a magnifying glass. This guy might be small, but it’s still a fish!

A Sedona tan is only temporary.

No, it’s not a corpse; it’s my legs after my “Sedona tan” (i.e., red dirt) washed off. I miss that dirt…it took the glare off my skin 🙂

Poem – Captured

Captured

Mountains, canyons

Welcome me.

Days spent trail hiking,

Admiring.

S’mores by a campfire,

On chilly, moonlit nights.

Red rocks, cool breeze

Encircle me.

Trickling waters

Over creek-bed rocks

Take hold of my soul;

I’m under a spell.

~

There was so much to see at eye level, I almost forgot to look up once in a while. 

Oak Creek Canyon Wall

 I would have missed so much!

Oak Creek Canyon Wall
The creek was in view for most of the hike:
Oak Creek Canyon

Fruits of winter rain and northern Arizona snow melting in Oak Creek Canyon:

The reward at the end of our hike was getting to wade into the creek.  The water was cold and refreshing! 

3 Miles Into Oak Creek Canyon
Thank you for visiting – I hope you enjoyed the pictures!  Have a beautiful day 🙂