Infinite and overwhelming

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.

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40 thoughts on “Infinite and overwhelming

  1. Jennifer says:

    You might like the book Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas. It’s very helpful in finding your particular pathway to sacred and spiritual experiences.

    The Grand Canyon sounds like a wonderful experience. What a great way to spend your anniversary making more memories.

    Here’s to another wonderful decade!

  2. Leslie says:

    Welcome home, Christine! Sounds like you had a glorious week (and your blog had one, to be sure!). We’ve never been to the Grand Canyon, and your reflections make me even more eager to go. Sounds like you had a revelatory experience there.

    • Christine says:

      I was absolutely delighted with my guests last week! They certainly didn’t disappoint 🙂 I highly recommend you go – but I caution you, it’s probably not the safest environment for little ones. I had visions while we were there of my 18 month old running with his usual enthusiasm right off the edge. There are no guardrails! For now I’d say just an adult vacation spot, at least until they are a bit older and understand the conept of danger, or at least of slowing down.

  3. Lindsey says:

    I know exactly this feeling you speak of – or, my version of it. You evoke it here. Thank you!

  4. Corinne says:

    Looks incredible 🙂 I’ve never been… but I feel that every time I see the ocean…

  5. Chantal says:

    I have always wanted to go there! Sounds amazing! So glad you had that experience!

  6. That last big paragraph sums up exactly where I am at, girl. I have been seeking that missing something for a while now. Well, waiting for it is more like it. But I think it’s now time to do some more active seeking. To find “it” and “feed my whole life with it.”

    Thing is, I think YOU are much closer than you may believe. It’s in your spirit. And spirit you have in spades.

    Xo

  7. Amber says:

    I have felt this many many times. I have yet to visit the Grand Canyon, but I have climbed many mountains and viewed the splendor from the top. There I am reminded of how infinitely tiny I am. This doesn’t depress me; rather, I feel at peace.

    • Christine says:

      Like you Amber, when I’ve been in the rockies I’ve felt the same, or like Corinne, when visiting the ocean. It comes whenever I seem to be held in the grip of the awesomeness of nature.

  8. I’m looking forward to visiting the Grand Canyon one day. It’s one of my big dreams. The question is, will I be taking my children? I sort of want to.

    • Christine says:

      We definitely want to go back with our kids – without a doubt. We talked about it while we were there. But I think I will wait until they are older and better understand the concept of nature. For now, it’s not a playground for young children. At least not the cliffside.

  9. I felt that in Hawaii, Costa Rica and Sedona, Arizona. I’m glad you had such a wonderful trip, and happy 10 years!

  10. Kelly says:

    Insignificant alone, but connected to a vastness you can’t quite describe or sum up — that majestic feeling is fleeting for me, but when I have it, it is profound. I cannot wait to visit the Grand Canyon. Knowing that it was there for so many years before me and will be there for so many years after me is both humbling and inspiring.

  11. ShannonL says:

    Wow, how wonderful, Christine! I have never experienced emotion like that, but I think it’s absolutely amazing that you did! What a lovely post. So glad you had a great time away. xo

  12. Loukia says:

    I would love to go there – looks incredible and I’m sure I’d be blown away, too. When I’m Greece, there are moments when I’m so in awe of my surroundings, and it takes my breath away. When I am at the Parthenon, or the very first time I was in Santorini, just the view… wow. It was incredible.

  13. Theta Mom says:

    Looks incredible and as always, beautifully written.

    It’s on my bucket list of things to see, for sure!

  14. Kate says:

    Gorgeous! I love how pure nature, something untouched, makes me feel. All the clutter in my head fades away.

    Happy anniversary! Ten years is marvelous!

  15. LZ says:

    Beautiful! I’m with Corinne, I’ve never been, but feel so small when I see the ocean. Nothing mucking it up…just beautiful and untouched.

  16. Amy @ NTT says:

    I felt similarly when we visited the Grand Canyon last year. I wrote about it afterward, marveling at the openness and vastness of it all. What a great choice for an anniversary celebration; a place to contemplate something larger than yourself!

  17. Welcome back! I’m glad your trip was such a meaningful one. Thank you for sharing some of your impressions in this beautiful post.

    • Christine says:

      Thanks Kristen. Thank goodness for the Grand Canyon because the same could not be said for the rest of our vacation. Certainly we had lots of fun, but I wouldn’t call Vegas meaningful. Perhaps full of spirit would be a better description. 🙂

  18. Charlotte says:

    I feel that way often, too. The Grand Canyon definitely inspires me in the same way. I also feel that way when I look up at the stars (talk about feeling small in the Universe but still at peace).

  19. Amber says:

    That sounds like an amazing experience. I’m so glad that you felt it. And I hope that you feel it, more.

    I’ve felt it too – and it really is awesome. But not at the Grand Canyon, as I’ve never been. Perhaps I ought to go!

  20. Kameron says:

    I am still mad at myself that I lived in Vegas for 4 years and never went to the Grand Canyon. We plan to go back for my birthday next year and I will not be missing it this time! I hope you had a wonderful time overall and you have to tell me if you went to any of the places I told you about.

    • Christine says:

      We really did have a wonderful time. Less than a week home and I’m ready to go back. Sadly we didn’t, we kind of ended up going with however we felt as we ventured. But we did eat one night at this fantastic Japanese Restaurant at the Mirage called Japonais. My mouth is still watering at the thought of it!

  21. becca says:

    I have definitely experienced similar awe inspiring moments. Ones that I am almost knocked over by their greatness and incredible-ness. Sedona probably came the closest to what you describe. It’s one reason I love hiking so much. To be at the TOP of the world, looking down and feeling so at peace. And to feel so insignificant when you look around at how HUGE everything else is. It’s also why I love the sky so much. To look up at the billions of stars and realize that what I see each day right in front of me is such an incredibly small part of the world, and that the little things, don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. Beautiful Christine… I’m so thrilled you had such a wonderful time!

  22. denise says:

    Oh Christine. Yes. When in the presence of overwhelming divinity, I, too, cry. Such a lovely post.

  23. You two are so adorable in that picture. What a happy, in love, couple.

    I love moments of clarity and pure happiness like that.

  24. Your pics are beautiful! Not a part of the US I’ve ever seen (now I want to). Best of all, it sounds like you had the opportunity to really celebrate. Everyone needs a break! And especially for such a happy occasion. (How hard is it to be back?)

  25. This is how I feel when I’m in northern Michigan. It speaks to me in a way no other place I’ve ever been does..and it feels right, like home. Which I guess is no wonder seeing that I was born and raised there.

    I think what gets me about a place, beyond sheer physical beauty and impressiveness, is considering all the people who came and went before me. How small and insignificant I am, yet still a part of the story of life just as the people centuries and centuries before me.

    I am so glad you had this experience!

  26. A gift for you… paying forward on a blog award. I love reading your blog!

  27. Stacia says:

    We went to the Grand Canyon last year, and I wanted to feel what you describe so badly but I couldn’t. It was almost too vast and beautiful to comprehend, like the backdrop of a painting instead of a natural wonder. Perhaps it was because we took our kiddos and I kept worrying about that plunging cliffside you mentioned!

  28. Rudri says:

    Christine, I had a similar moment when I visited Sedona this past Sunday. I looking for that peace, hoping it lies somewhere inside of me and that I can get there sooner than later.

  29. harrietglynn says:

    I really need to see the Grand Canyon. Glad you loved it!

  30. […] one week back from an invigorating and restorative vacation alone with my husband and I’m already feeling overwhelmed and depleted. The list of things I […]

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