Linnie Aikens Arts and Letters • HeART Haven Studios

Return to Blog–Quiet Panáche

Desert of the Virgin River Valley, just outside Zion National Park, Utah

Friday I think.  Who can ever keep track of time when they’re on vacation?  I love Zion National Park, but I was in the mood to do some exploring just outside of the park this morning.  There’s a quiet and aged loveliness to the high desert, with its silver haired brush and the smell of dryness. It’s as if you can feel and smell time.  The silent clouds aimlessly drift by overhead, casting long shadows across, up and over the cresting sand dunes.  There’s a soft drone of crickets or some small insect, something akin to what we city-dwellers might liken to the buzzing of a telephone wire high overhead.  Comforting, rather than irksome though.  I wonder if deserts were initially created by God or simply the product of time and evolvement of weather and creatures upon the land?  I know Biblically, early figures lived in the desert thousands of years ago, but were there millions of years of earth life before that, from Pangea and the Ice Age to the ever-changing and shaping world we see now?  I need to go back and review my geological history again.  Nonetheless, the desert, especially the high desert for me, reminds me of how I have the history of time spread out before me in rock and sand.  For some reason, I’m not prone to ponder such when I have the daily view of palm trees, sailboats, coffee shops and the absorbing routines of work, friends, hobbies.

But today I am here, and this is what I ponder...



"Never too bad, never too old, never too sick, never too late, to start from scratch and begin again."  ~ Bikram Choudhury


I was reflecting as I walked through the desert with only the landscape audience to my thoughts.  I considered the resiliency of the desert plants at the mercy of the harsh elements and whims of the thoughtless weather.  Through it all, they endure and still retain their quiet beauty.  I am as these desert plants.


I finished the school year on a note of discouragement due to an unexpected threat of defeat, but I didn’t cancel my trip.  I pushed forward and refused to let “them” beat me, and after a week in this beautiful place, I can’t help but feel as if none of that touches me anymore.  I pad softly down the sandy path, and I still see the beauty in the subtleties, the wonder in the contrasts of texture, line, color, smells, and I feel blessed.  I know I will turn the corner and sudden upon a whole new landscape, or at least see the same landscape in a whole new way and consider it a gift.  Circumstances don’t determine who I am, my attitude does.


Zion Canyon is in the far background of this picture...

I walked through the desert for awhile, studying plants and rocks, and playing a Twister game with the clouds, trying to guess the spot where their shadows would next land.  I discovered some beautiful quartz and sandstones and even a one with a tiny fossil of prehistoric sealife...yet another reminder of the history that puts my own life into perspective!!  My story is but a tiny little sliver in the story of time.


Beginning to feel overheated, I found a nice place by the Virgin River and spread out my towel for some reading and cooling off.  Too tempted, I slipped off my shoes and sat down right in the middle of the river, which was only about 2 feet at this area, and watched the tiny fish darting around me.  I remember the last time I was here, my daughter and I did the same and found ourselves covered in crawdad-type creatures crawling over our legs!  They were small, maybe 2-3 inches long and nearly see-though, taking on the color of the river.  My daughter was fascinated by them!  Just between you and me, I am just fine that all I have to contend with today are the tiny little fish!  After about 4 or 5 dunkings in the water, I just took my book and just sat and read right in the middle of the river!  When no one is watching or depending on me to be responsible, I heed my whims!

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