rediscovering my balance, and myself, in the Grand Canyon

Night one. Mile 18. As I walk away from the campfire and circle of chairs, I gaze up at the stars and dark canyon walls. I can’t imagine how much taller these walls will get, how much further we have to travel.

I look down again and turn on my headlamp. The bright glow reveals where others are sleeping. I’m cautious to walk around them, my steps uneven in the sand. I can hear my dad snoring as I grow close to our family’s spot for the night, a mini bluff above the river.

Near my tarp, I dig my journal out of my dry pack and scribble, “Can’t believe how far in we are and how far we have to go.” A generic comment. I’m tired, don’t give it much thought. As I settle into my sleeping bag and let my head sink into my pillow, I continue to study the stream of stars above.

The dark canyon walls provide a focused view of a sky I’ve seen many times in many places. In the coming days and nights, I’ll realize my time in the Grand Canyon is also providing a focused view of me.