All This Is the Music of Waters

Back from an extended trip Way Out West (where the “other” kind of rodeos take place) drinking in the vastness of the land and the magnificence of the arid red rock formations carved by wind, sand, lava, and, most especially, water. No pithy observations here, just wonder. Okay, and perhaps a couple of quotes, first from the intrepid one-armed explorer John Wesley Powell, whose travels down the Green and Colorado rivers in the late 19th-century included modern-day Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, the Grand Staircase, the Grand Canyon, right down to Lake Mead, the man-made pond outside of Las Vegas created by the construction of Hoover Dam:

Thus the Grand Canyon is a land of song. Mountains of music swell in the rivers, hills of music billow in the creeks, and meadows of music murmur in the rills that ripple over the rocks. Altogether it is a symphony of multitudinous melodies. All this is the music of waters.

And, from more recent times, the park ranger-turned-anarchist Edward Abbey, who loved the Arches National Park above all others:

It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it is still there. So get out there and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, encounter the grizz, climb the mountains. Run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, that lovely, mysterious and awesome space.

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