Sunday, January 30, 2011

Small, smaller, smallest

We drove on Route 66 and decided to turn into one of the unhardened roads towards the Grand Canyon. We passed some caravans and tiny houses on the Indian Reservation while we slowly slipped and slid our rental car over the surprisingly maintained road. We climbed up and down the hills and stopped when the road became to challenging for the car.

We were the only ones out there and land was everywhere around us with the canyon meandering in the distance. I smelled the lavender bushes that grow in that area as soon as I got out of the car. The views were absolutely stunning. The air was filled with a nothingness that made a bird whistling in the distance sound like it was sitting on my shoulder. What a different world. No wonder the Native Americans called the land their mother. She was always there. She fed them, carried them, guided them and cared for them.

Today it seems that most believe the that world is a dangerous place, where mother takes more than she gives, and everything is unfair. While I overlooked the views I realized that what has changed most since the Native Americans traveled over this land is the people’s perceptions.

We drove back to the road and decided to find another road towards the canyon, in the hope we would get closer. With some amazing phone and Internet technology we set out our new route and dove onto another unpaved road. To our surprise it slowly went down and down. We stopped regularly to take pictures of the growing mountains around us not knowing it was nothing compared with where we would end up.

We ended up in the middle of the Grand Canyon after another forty-five minutes drive. It was the total opposite experience from the first route where we looked over the land. Now mountains rose everywhere around us, and they embraced us as if we were ducklings in a nest. The sand on the floor was as pink as the Native Indian pottery you can buy. The mountain walls were in some places yellow, in other places brown or rusty, or grey. After every corner there was something different to see.

Since I was a little kid I have felt very close to nature. In the early mornings I loved to go out while the dew was still on the plants and grass. I would walk barefoot through the grass and feel the moist on my feet. I liked the smell of the trees and flowers in the early morning. I liked to find quiet places where you could not hear anyone, and where I could pretend that nature and I were one.

When I grew older I would walk outside town into the beautiful lowlands that the Netherlands is rich. In wintertime, if there was ice on the little canals, my friends and I would skate out of town into the fields to become one with nature. It would never be longer than half a day, but these moments are still the most vivid experiences in my memory.

In compared with everything out there I was so small, and it felt so comforting. Even though I was only six, seven or eight years old the land had taught me I could not control everything that was going on in the big outside world, or even in my tiny world of family and friends. It taught me that you could always find something beautiful or peaceful independent of the situation you were in, as long as you are willing to shift your view from one place to the next.

When we had hard times in our family, which happened regularly, I would go out and find something beautiful that would help me let go of my sadness, and frustration. I would stay out until I had myself back together and than would go back filled with peace and acceptance.

In the Grand Canyon these memories came back and I feel grateful for the teachings that helped me get through childhood. I also feel a longing to go back to the road I was on the other day. I would love to travel it by foot over an extended period of time and experience that place in my bones. I know that so many more teachings are out there. Teachings ready to be re-discovered...


  1. Mijn dochtertje wat heb je een mooie journey geschreven. Ik ben zo trots op je . Wij zijn zeker van dat we een of een andere dag ook gaan proberen om julli experience ons te maken.
    Amerika kennen wij van onze reisjes maar is zo veel groter als jij laat zien
    We komen terug, en nemen veel power mee, dit laatste is van Ina.
    Bedankt voor de mooie foto's , laat even wat weten over Las Vegas.


  2. Hee Paps, Las Vegas is helemaal geweldig en jullie moeten daar zeker heen! Erg leuk dat je een berichtje schrijft onder mijn verhaal. Ik hoop je vaker op Beliefmakers aan te treffen! Dikke knuffels voor jullie beiden XXX


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