Have you ever visited a place where you felt completely enveloped in spirituality? A place filled with a presence so vital, so acute that emotion just washed over you—emotion so raw that you could barely express how it felt?
I did, last week on our 10th anniversary celebratory vacation. Jay and I travelled on a five-day getaway to Las Vegas. It wasn’t our first visit so we wanted to do something a little different, particularly because of the significance of our celebration. We planned a day-trip to the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon. It was hands down the highlight of our trip. To say I was held breathless for the duration of our visit is an understatement.
We visited Grand Canyon West, Land of the Hualapai Nation. The Hualapai Indian Reservation is 993,000 acres. The tribe owns and occupies 108 miles of the Colorado River and Grand Canyon. Here they run a thriving and growing tourism business. Visitors must purchase a tour package for entry to the Canyon which can include a helicopter ride, horseback riding, whitewater rafting and spectacular Canyon views.
We chose to walk the Grand Canyon Skywalk at Eagle Point , visit Guano Point to experience it’s panoramic views of the Canyon and to enjoy a meal eaten at the edge of the Canyon and prepared by the Hualapai people.
All of this is important to familiarize you with the experience, but for me what was important was how I felt when I was there. When we first arrived at Eagle point, and I eagerly watched out the windows of the shuttle bus, I was overcome with emotion that brought me to tears. The magnificence and sheer greatness for some reason caught me completely by surprise. When people say you have to see it to understand, they aren’t exaggerating. This place, this natural and unbelievable place is simple extraordinary.
We spent several hours looking at and consuming as much of the view and feeling as we could. I was struck not only by the beauty, but by how untouched and free of commercial influence it is. It was simply pure and probably enhanced the aura of presence that I felt. There we were in the middle of the desert, completely free of big business to temper the experience.
I am but one speck on the earth and in this place I was acutely aware of it. And that feeling, rather than miring me in insignificance, uplifted me and filled me with a sense of peace. It was incredible.
Back in Vegas I asked my husband if he felt it—the presence, the infinite and overwhelming spiritualness of the place. Sadly he didn’t. But it was there. It cradled me in a feeling of calm and awe. I feel as though I can still conjure it now and I like how it feels. I wonder if I’ve found something, if my visit to the Grand Canyon awakened a sleeping part of my soul.
My personal journey toward better self-understanding is made up of many different pieces and I’ve always been sure that unearthing my spiritual side would be an important part of it. I want t0 better appreciate and honour that which is bigger than me, bigger than all of us. I just haven’t figured out how yet. Every once in a while I feel it intensely. It’s there, always there, but sometimes more poignant than others. I’ve never felt it in a church, almost always it comes when I’m outdoors, when there is quiet or beauty or substance. I want to uncover more of it, become more comfortable with it, and learn how to feed my whole life with it.
Our journey last week reminded me again how good it can feel.