My first and only encounter with the Grand Canyon was when I was a child. My constant companion was a stuffed rabbit and I can recall to this day the pink velvet pants he wore and the curve of his sweet face, his black loving eyes. He was my safe place to land during a childhood that was at time often fraught with unimaginable darkness.
It was on a family trip where he was snatched out of my hands and held over the railing and dropped. Every ounce of security I had in the world plummeted into an abyss in front of my eyes. I didn't know, I didn't know a lot of things, I was a child. He had really just landed on a ledge that I couldn't see as I lay on the ground in a heap of grief and despair. Onlookers witnessing my public humiliation. These were the stories that populated my youth and these were the stories one never shared in school.
So with great anticipation and some intrepidation, I returned to the canyon after all those years as an adult. I wondered if I would remember the exact railing of a scene so long ago. Turns out, I did.
A bittersweet journey into the past. A more loving memory: My mother had bought a small box of polished rocks and crystals when I was there and I cherished them for lifetime. I still have them. As a young girl, I used to lay them out on my bed and study them. I was fascinated by them and I attribute them to that spark, that first realization that an immense natural world of beauty and wonder existed for me to explore. Little did I know at the time, how that wonderful natural world would come to mean so much to me and in reality guide so much of my life. Save my life in so many ways.