Monday, April 18, 2011

True memory prompted by a Grand Canyon postcard

It was the third, maybe the fourth day out when we finally arrived at the Grand Canyon, all eight of us unfolding from that tiny RV. The trip had been my mother's idea and, as such, plotted with the precision of a military invasion. But no plan survives first contact with my father so we often found ourselves on detours surprising and serendipitous.
Today's destination was not an surprise however. It's next to impossible to drive through Arizona without being caught in the gravity of the Grand Canyon. We stood on the edge--"not too close, kids"--and were surprised after all. For something so grand it got the word in it's name, no one was all that impressed.
Maybe it was just too big to comprehend, like the national debt. If we could have ridden down on a donkey or rafted it's length, perhaps we would have been able to hold the wonder.
But Grandma couldn't stand the altitude and the youngest ones were bored so we turned away and drove back down, content to explore the smaller wonders: Bryce Canyon, Mesa Verde, a family of 8 in agreement about anything.