We wandered back and forth across the wash as we progressed up the canyon. With every step, we saw something to take a photo of, to stare at, to cause some loud exclamation.

The experience was like an aesthetic and mystic re-baptism. The air I breathed was new, the colors were new, the sounds of the water being made just for me.

What if Eden was a place each of us had to discover anew, a place that we needed to return to deliberately once it was recognized? This Eden would be a sort of reminder of our hopeful self, the person who would achieve all virtues and make it to happiness when all is done in this life. This individual place would mesh with our individual dreams, embody our peronal mythology and religious faith and ennoble our senses and minds.

This place is that to me. It is there right now, it has been there for quite a few years in fact. Quite a bit longer than I have been toiling at this particular life.

Life is easier if one is part of things that are larger than the self, more enduring than one person's life on earth. Sometimes those things are human institutions, human endeavors, or great ideals that endure with the person's greatest hopes or contributions intact far after he is gone.

Sometimes the earth itself offers something like this. A place to become part of one's life, in a deeper way than one ever expected.

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