Sunday, March 22, 2015

Shallow Water!

Back home from Arizona. For some reason I picked up an allergy related ( I think) sinus infection that has left me pretty miserable. Picture editing is going to have to wait. My daughter, her friend, and my wife flew into Phoenix last Saturday where I picked them up. We headed north- Grand Canyon, Lower Antelope slot canyon near Page Az, Monument Valley, the Four Corners, Chinle and Canyon de Chelly, and officially "finished" the trip at Ganado at the Hubble Trading Post. It is one of the oldest continuously operated Native American trading posts. From there it was about a 1240 mile drive home! And of course there was lots of driving as a part of the trip... nearly 3400 miles for me.

A huge frustration for me was the amount of time the girls spent on electronic devices ( kindles and cell phones) And as huge a frustration for them was so much time with NO SERVICE and Jim banning the use of those devices from time to time.

Now these two girls are very smart, inquisitive and mature for their age. They are honors students in the eight grade taking advanced course work , involved in both sports, artistic and intellectual activities after school. Too often I forget that they are still kids!

So, because of their so often ignoring the world around them for cell phones-- I called them shallow! And when I first did it I will have to admit it was the unfavorable meaning of the word I was using. And then, as we drove, I got to thinking about a little stream, maybe three feet wide and a half a foot deep in the Chiracahua Mountains I had spent several hours sitting by early in the trip- before they joined me. It was bouncing over rocks, sparkling in the sun, and making all kinds of noise! So clear and fresh you could see every stone in its bottom. And I compared it to some of the big rivers I have seen- wide and deep, making little sound though often moving far faster and much more powerfully than that little stream. Very rarely clear enough to see through or into very far. Those big and old rivers carry a burden, of time and experience- some wonderfully happy memories and many sad ones. They have been on their journey for a long time. When they encounter an obstacle they sweep it away. The stream bounds over the rock, runs around the log or flies over the precipice in a million shining drops to reform below! 

I used the word shallow to describe them, and it turns out I was right! but not in the way I meant-- they are shallow in that they are young, they are full of life, eager to move- not sit and reflect. They are many years from where I am and even in that the world turns at a different pace than it did when I was young. I envy them their journey and am so glad I get to share a small part of it.


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