From Exile to Hope: Morning on the Ridge of the Canyon

From Exile to Hope: Morning on the Ridge of the Canyon

July 18, 2023

Morning on the Ridge of the Canyon

By: Rev. Dr. Mary Lautzenhiser Bellon

This summer I was able to visit the Grand Canyon for the first time. The remarkable beauty reminded me of how we are composed of the very essence of the universe as it spins through time – the layers of the canyon marking the ages of the earth, both when people were here and when we weren’t. It’s a remarkable thing, don’t you think, to experience the miracle of God’s hand in creation and to know, somewhere in the deep recesses of your soul, that you, too, are one of the layers of the miracle.

Morning on the Ridge of the Canyon
Such a morning – a cloud shrug
over the full face of sun
and then the blue, blue sky 
falling into the canyon.
I was with you, wondering
If time could fall to such depth;
If really, we had fallen and now climbed
hand over hand against the rock face

up to this moment, this morning.
We will not be back here:
having struggled to see something,
to reach this red cliff centering the eyeglass.
There is something ending,
even in the slight intake of breath
that the morning swigs and holds
then exhales in ribboned sun dogs.
There is something ending:
a disbelief that we ever could know
despair truer than this love 
poured out in the sound of the wind.
Such a morning – a California Condor
roosts on a ledge thirty feet below us
and what was once endangered has returned
to remind us what the One Spirit said: 
Do not be afraid;
Do not despair;
The earth is the Lord’s 
And the fullness therein.

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