A Spiritual Experience with Rocks

Question: Would you rather live the rest of your life…

A. Beside the Ocean;  B. In the midst of a mountain range;  C. In the middle of a deep dense forest, D. Or in the middle of a desert?

Now obviously it would be wonderful if they all intertwine, and you can have everything, or at least a combination – but if we had to choose, it’s interesting to see how people would respond.  It’s one of my favorite questions to ask people, because it allows us to think about how we connect with nature.

I’m an ocean girl myself being from the Westcoast, but I also have a strong affinity with rocks.  Any kind of rock, any interesting geologic landscape.  I guess it couldn’t be avoided – my dad was a geography teacher, and as a young child, any time we would go on road trips our family would play “Name that Rock”.  We would have to identify the rock type as igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic.. super fun right?!

But those things stick with you. We arrived in Joshua Tree last week and my mind was blown again with the colour of the red rocks against the bright blue sky.  We hiked to Devil’s Bridge — well worth it for the view, and the gorgeous rock formations.

Devil's BridgeAfter 3 days in Sedona we headed up to the Grand Canyon since Daryl had never been.  We drove down Desert View Highway, one of the most gorgeous drives I’ve ever done, and through the park just as the sun was beginning to set on the canyon.  We stayed in the park that night and went out to see the stars once everything was dark.  We stood on the edge of the canyon at a look-out that hours before had been filled with people clamouring for the best shot, Ipads in hand, and now it was empty.  Just us, the rocks, and the Milky Way.

grand canyon

My sister lives in LA, and the west coast was calling, so from the Grand Canyon we headed west, along Route 66, and through the Mojave Desert to Joshua Tree.  We were exhausted after 7 hours of driving, questioning whether this trip had been too ambitious for two tired teachers.  But then we were reminded that Joshua Tree catches you by surprise.. It reels you in, the piles of rocks, the scraggly trees, the bright blue skies. The weird, but oddly enjoyable vibe of 29 Palms, and the vast desert that seems to extend forever.

Joshua Tree

We finally made it to the coast, and are now relaxing on the beach with the waves crashing around us… but after a week in the desert I can hear my father’s voice in my ear reminding me that sedimentary rocks have lots to offer because they help create beautiful landscapes.  And I am reminded that a U.S. road trip can take your breath away in a second.

So where would you rather spend the rest of your life?  The ocean, the forest, the mountains or the desert…. they each can make a great argument.  And those rocks can grab you.