Snow Canyon called to me. I could not wait to finish my law classes in nearby St. George and head into the canyon for an evening hike. I chose the Hidden Pinyon Trail, a popular trail over and through twisting redrock slots and boulders, past blooming prickly pear cactus, Mormon tea plants, black brush, and flowering yucca. I felt lonely and disconnected in my relationships, wondering who I was and questioning about god and life. Arriving at a ridge line 300 above the canyon floor, I sat cross-legged on a patina-stained ledge, raised my staff with both arms to heaven, and called upon the universe for answers. This poem attempts to convey the experience that followed. The photograph above is a Utah Agave plant with its bloom growing seven feet tall in Snow Canyon.
Father of earth and sky—
manifest Thyself unto me.
Child of earth and sky—
see my writing in the rock,
in the swirling veins of cemented sandstone,
in the lichens’ greens and grays.
Hear my voice in the warbles and trills of song birds,
in the lonely quail call.
Smell my wisdom in the breeze-born sage
after desert’s summer shower.
Taste my nature in the pure water
pooled in pocks etched in stone over a million years
by grinding wind and splintering ice.
Touch my mind as you touch with whisper touch
the stunning, delicate cactus bloom,
as you cause the fine red sand to sift through wondering fingers.
Feel my heart as you cry
and reach for the sky