Home Again, Home Again, Jiggedy Plop

Oh my dearie me.  I have returned.  Back from all the exciting adventures, memories abounding, bruises healing.  I suppose that time always dulls the senses of “painful” things – (so they tell me about childbirth, although I never experienced that, and some women go on to produce others and still more after what I hear is rather a memorable event and one high on the pain scale category.)  But it’s hard to remember that the first jaunt down the canyon was as physical as it was, and yet I am remembering because I have that same pinched nerve somewhere that has left me with a numb hand and various other gimps and reminders of a bumpy ride.  Let me tell you, a raft trip down the canyon is not for the faint of physicality.  Let me also tell you that there’s nothing like it – nothing – and I wouldn’t have missed a minute of it.  Not the heat, nor the cold, or the rain, or the 30 to 40 mile per hour winds on the river (!!!), or the early morning calls for coffee, and the bag lines, and the chance to ride the rapids on the smallish oar boats, (a very large YaHOO on that one), rock clambering and hiking the side canyons, and the myriad other experiences that I shall attempt to describe in future contributions.  Oh, and not to forget the efforts by the boatmen to feed us to death.  Honestly, they expect you to eat like elephants, and well, I think we did.  With dessert, mind you.  And then you have to haul your increased mass up and down those rock scrambles, with camera and gear and tripod in tow….. tough duty, I tell you.  All that and the camaraderie of both new friends and old, and stories and laughter and tears and blisters and blood and bumps and whams, and sand in everything.  It was wonderful.  And I’m whipped.

So just a short missive to let you know I have survived, and Arizona is still the most beautiful of places – I truly wanted to hug the saguaros – and now I have returned to survey the mile high weeds on the place, and still to consider my bags sitting on the bed awaiting attention while I contemplate another rest period before tackling the projects of “real life.”  This stuff going on up here – it has little to do with real life.  What’s real is the cold dump of 46 degree water on your face (and into the nether regions – there is no such thing as “waterproof” clothing on the river) when you plow through a rapid.  What’s real is incomparable universes of stars above you at night as you sleep on the ground in the warmth of your sleeping bag, with the sound of the rapids carrying to you the voices of the canyon.  What’s real is depending on others to help you through the rough spots, or help pick you up when you’ve gone and splayed yourself in an attempt to board the raft.  Or to have the genuine honor to offer a hand to someone else who needs an assist.  What’s real is finding yourself on your own, alone, in the depths of the canyon, pondering the grandeur of it all, or the miracle of a singular cactus bloom, or a gathering of caterpillars on the plants near the river.  What’s real is aching muscles and blue green yellow bruises and merit badges of courage summoned and challenges met.  What’s NOT real is coming home to the “news,” (sadly it’s the same old recycled crap that I left), and reality television, (gag), and seeing kids plugged into their ipods or texting themselves into oblivion with no idea of what it feels like to come through Lava rapid in an oar boat.  Or to wonder how that single, solitary pelican came to find himself down on the river in the depths of the canyon, and if he’ll ever find his way out, or if he’ll ever meet a friend.  Reality, or what passes for it, now comes with a sharp stab, as I see how much hatred is loosed up here, along with the greed and the manufactured fear.  I didn’t see a glint of hatred on the river, nor fear.  Just respect for the forces of Nature.  By golly, I went through Lava in an oar boat.  To hell with Fear.

Lots of stories.  Lots of questions.  Lots of thoughts.  And how much time to ponder what really matters.  And here we are.  And here I am.  Back.  Re-entry is not so easy.  Part of me is still in the canyon.  Pieces of me, left behind.  We’re talking about going again in two years…. Want to sign up now?


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4 Responses to “Home Again, Home Again, Jiggedy Plop”

  1. Welcome home and back to reality . . . save time for lunch before you get too back into it all!

  2. queeniesays Says:

    I think by all rights I don’t want to believe that “this” is reality…. but I do believe in LUNCH! I’ll be in your neighborhood before too long, so let’s do it. (I think I even owe you money!) Yep, time for one of those salads at our favorite place. Looking forward to it for sure.

  3. Brought a tear to my eye. You have such a unique way of capturing those experiences in words that always escape me. I will look forward to every coming missive to relive and remember all our Grand adventures. I’d forgottom about that Pelican……I did worry about him while I was down there. If he’d only kept going down the river instead of doubling back. He found himself in a strange place..with no friends..frightened and alone but instead of venturing on into the unknown further down the river where he surely would have found his way home…found familiar food and maybe a buddy to help him on his way…he doubled back to the imagined safety of the familiar…hmmmm a lesson there I think.

  4. So glad you’re back safe and sound…..ditto Janet, we need to have lunch or dinner or something! Can’t wait to hear your tales and see your pics!

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