There was anxiousness heading to Las Vegas last week to catch a flight. I left plenty early however I didn't take full consideration of highway construction in the gorge. As I approached, my anxiety grew. Sections of I-15 were down to one lane, speed reduced to 35 MPH, behind several tractor trailers, I was forced to slow down.
Maybe it’s the ongoing practice of ‘slowing down’ which eased me into a blissful state. Taking a deep, full, rich breath I was awakened with vividness to the pristine beauty of life.
The morning sun’s play of light and shadow soften the rugged walls. This truly is a magnificent pass. I noticed the vertical carved ripples in the rock and recall Jeff telling me how years before these areas were drilled and blasted to make way for the interstate.
This day, current construction crews had erected a protective barrier around a shrine which has been well maintained for years. I've notice the hallowed place before; the cross always freshened and silk flowers and tokens deliberately laid in honor of a lost loved one, Fred, his name painted on the cross could now be read.
Wiry creosote bushes danced in the canyon winds as if to show off their fresh spring green foliage and yellow-green buds, this is the plant I miss the most from the desert. If only there was morning moisture to release its heady fragrance.
Looking closer at the desert floor the wild flowers were bursting in their splendor, such a small window of opportunity for them to take center stage in the desert terrain.
Even with the frightening lack of winter snow a bit farther north, there was quite a bit of spring runoff water in the river. I watched her flow, no looking back, no regret, no fear of what lies ahead, she simply continued on her journey, a destination not yet known to her, but ardently she flowed.
Humble and grateful tears filled my eyes. In the stillness which lies just beyond the shoulders of a busy interstate there is wonder, pulse, beauty, an ever alive nature. Again and again I am reminded that life remains beautiful.
Wiping a tear from my right eye a surge of excitement filled me, “Maybe in this slow down I’ll see a big horn sheep!” In my current state it only seemed fair and right to receive such a gift.
Emerging out of the mouth of the gorge, there was a slight disappointment at having to speed up but even greater disappointment at not seeing big horn sheep. And just as I approached 50, 65, 70 MPH, looking in my rearview mirror at the shrinking, massive gorge a knowing hit me. I was in his environment. I may not have seen big horn sheep but he saw me, he felt my presence and respect for him and sent me a wave of his medicine.
As the day continued and the following crazy, hectic, difficult days unfolded, I carried this wondrous experience to ‘slow down’ with me, with gratitude, I welcomed the ease it offered.
Slow down…simply slow down…what can you, what will you glean if you but venture to the experience? With promise, all will get accomplished and oddly enough, quite possibly even more.
It’s been a week since the ‘slow down’ and I still feel this bliss as well as big horn sheep’s medicine with me. What power does he offer? What gifts does he wish to give? It’s now time to explore his medicine….