It’s been said that to experience the present moment purely is to be emptied and hollow; “you catch grace as a man fills his cup under a waterfall.” Maybe that gives you an idea of what being at the Grand Canyon is like. You go as you are, with whatever experiences you’ve had, whatever mood you’re in, whatever logistics you’re wrangling (in our case, 5 kids, 2800 miles, and all that that means). You go with your expectations; the pictures you’ve seen, the stories from others. You go and you have all this background noise that you’ve brought with you, and when you finally get to that edge and look out onto that majestic view, everything you’ve brought with you falls away, like scales dropping from your eyes. And you see something New. Something that is very old but at the same time is New. It’s like nothing else.
You are getting a glimpse of how all things were created through God and for God. You try to open your eyes wider so you can see more, to drink in all of your surroundings, but it’s never enough. You look at your loved ones and exchange knowing glances, that they can see as you are seeing, knowing no words are adequate for the moment. And you don’t want to leave. So you linger. And you breathe it in. And you wish you could be there for a few days, or a week, or eternity. You take pictures, but they’re a poor excuse for reality. They serve as proof of your visit but that’s all. And even seeing what you’ve seen you know there’s so much more. You’re at the tip of an iceberg. But that’s all you get on this visit.
So you stay as long as you can, and then, just as when you first came and it all changed, you leave. And it’s all behind you now. But you’re different. Because you were there.