It is National Park Week, and this year marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. (Thank you to Tricia Stohr-Hunt, aka Miss Rumphius, for the heads up on this.)
My family and I are fortunate enough to have rafted down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon twice. This is an incredible experience, one that leaves you with a deep appreciation for the grandeur of the canyon and the power of nature.
The course of the river is punctuated by powerful rapids, but there are two that stick out in my mind. One is Lava Falls, which I’ve written about here. The other is Crystal, which was formed, literally, overnight.
“In December 1966 a storm unlike any witnessed before, dropped over 14 inches of rain in some places along the north rim. All this water sent debris flows crashing down side canyons [including Crystal Canyon]. When the storm had passed, the debris fan constricted the Colorado to less than a quarter of its original width, and a large boulder at the top created one of the largest holes on the river”
Alive Below Crystal
Skirt the wave
at the edge of the hole,
kiss its lip with your paddle,
close enough to feel its power,
distant enough to avoid being sucked in,
overwhelmed by her might.
In the course of one life,
how often do these upheavals
The path is altered,
a chasm opens.
Never fully healed,
full of fissures that can crack
bringing us to our knees.
Alive below Crystal,
our view forever transformed.
We’ve gazed into the face
of the cataclysm
© Catherine Flynn, 2016
Thank you to Stacey, Tara, Dana, Betsy, Anna, Beth, Kathleen, and Deb for this space for teachers and others to share their stories each Tuesday. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.