I open the shades just in time for the rockies. I'm above the earth again. My flight trajectory is taking me across my favorite landscapes: the Colorado Rockies, Southern Utah and the California Deserts. I've had the good fortune of watching this landscape from the air a lot recently.
I'm glued to the window, a glass of sparkling water at my elbow, the soundtrack Bjork's possibly maybe/hyperballad covering up the droning engines. I feast my eyes, recognizing Pike's Peak to the southeast, Aspen's shaved ski slopes on the mountain just below me. I remember a fast drive on Interstate 70 below me - and a favorite roadtrip moment.
We pass over Moab - I see scratched red rocks. I remember two conversations in this natural land. Who calls into a business conference call from Arches National Park? (One guess.) As I view this landscape from above, I remember the view from below. I first discovered it during my Great American Roadtrip. My mindblowing drive along the Colorado River, hitting my high speed at 7am on a desolate Utah road, winding up and around Capitol Reef, Dixie National and Escalante/Grand Staircase.
I see the same land from a different perspective and it is just as beautiful - mindblowing. In rock I see the roil of boiling water. I imagine a movable landscape, fluid rock, spewing Volcanoes. I imagine the crust under a shallow sea.
These landscapes, formed in geological time remind me of the long term. Remind me of the long line of the past, the trajectory of the future, and the tiny moment of the present. It doesn't make me feel small though. It vitalizes me. It makes me love this time on earth - and feasting upon the gorgeousness of the land.
Your's Truely on the Grandstand in Death Valley's Racetrack.