The day began here, anew. As we made our way toward Torrey, we fell silent. We arrived at the shop and ordered, went outside and watched the mountain that we had been on for most of the morning and afternoon. As the clouds and showers drifted over an by, and as the sun played on slopes, trees and crags, we saw.
We reflected upon the singular things that had happened; the cars, people and phenomenons that we had seen more than once at times more than twice, the mercy that had been shown us, the water that we had drunk and that we had waded into, the people who had waved at us or smiled, we thought about our laziness and immovability.
We still saw the beauty, but we were moved to think.
We almost didn't go into the Reef, but on a jolt of spontaneity, we decided to turn the rig around and head the other way after leaving the shop and heading for home and hearth.
After all, it would only be forty minutes more.
As the truck moved with us in it, we saw the black sky and yellow sun with deep orange cliffs and soil, moistened by an early summer shower. We saw the junipers washed of dust, green from the spring's new growth. We smelled the water on cedars and sandstone, combining with wet sage to create an aroma that only a desert rat who has crawled on hands and knees, drunken with the essence of splendor can summon from memory, and at that, only with a tear in his eye.
We stopped at an industrial tourist turnout, a place that we might normally scorn as sullied and less than pristine, there was a trail with concrete weirdly dyed to match the stone steps it supported, rising from the bed of the Fremont River to the spires and hoodoos above. We spun and gesticulated at each new wonder as we walked the trail alone, with rain still sprinkling into the wind that drove it into our backs and flanks, discussing the possibilities and endless horizons that this place represented in our hearts. The sun hid and returned from behind the clouds, and we strove to store this hope away against our imminent return to the land of artifice, the yet beautiful place where our families live and we work to feed and clothe them.
There really is no explaining how it happened or how it was felt, but the river flowed through our hearts and minds and the stone radiated spirit into our beings. Driving home from that place after not much more than an hour (a little less than an eternity)and into the panoramic suffusion of beauty that would cavalcade before us until we found ourselves asleep and in dreams next to our wives, we met each sight, place and human as if we'd never seen anything quite as exquisite in our already intoxicatingly beautiful experiences. It didn't take much effort, either.