Lessons from a Bristlecone

Hello, Bryce Canyon

The hubs and my recent trip to the Southwest started with the national parks closing a few days before we left. GAH! We came up with an alternate plan… then a couple days before returning home, the parks opened again! YAY! We were within a few hours of Bryce Canyon, so we hightailed it over there in our little rental RV. I’d never been to Bryce before and Joe wasn’t into photography on past visits, so it was kind of like a first visit in different ways for us both.

The View from Below

We’d been driving alot – one of the side effects of avoiding national parks – so we were REALLY in the mood to do some hiking. The views of the hoodoos (that’s what they call these conical formations that Bryce Canyon is known for) were iconic and epic from above… but once you drop down into them on The Navajo Trail or any other that takes you down into the canyon, it’s like Alice in Wonderland on crack!


Nekked Roots

I was really struck with how many Bristlecone pines I saw there with their roots exposed. The whole place is slowly eroding, of course. The top soil washes away with snow and rain… but somehow these trees in all their strength and glory just dig in deeper and keep on going. I couldn’t help feeling both awed and inspired by them. Their life span is about 4000 years… more than enough time to work out some tricks for staying alive as the ground washes out from under.

Life as an Ever-Changing Landscape

As kids, it would’ve made so many things so much simpler if we’d be purposefully taught that life is ever-changing and given the tools to deal with it. Even a passing: “Hey kid, the world isn’t as solid as you think. Best to get your surfing skills tuned up – ’cause that’s how you’ll keep your balance. And by the way, the earth is sentient, so watch how you treat her and talk to her”, would’ve been helpful. Luckily, I grew up hearing the voices of the worlds around me and beneath my feet – so I at least got that part.

Lessons from a Bristlecone

Thank goodness for Bristlecone Pines and and their tenacious example of how to truly live. Stay strong, dig deep, keep your balance and when the ground beneath you shifts… surf.