We zig-zagged up the steep trail early in the morning, too close to the edge in my mind. The sun was not yet up and our pace was steady and solid. Finally we reached the top, the mesa. It was filled with holly bushes and bright light and a monstrously gorgeous view of the canyon and river below.
We caught our breath and walked the edges of the mesa, drinking the silence, following the dusty animal tracks. I heard the deer before I saw her, her breathing and then a tiny crack as she broke off another brittle tip of holly to eat. I came around the bush and there she was, unconcerned. Perhaps she didn’t notice, but more likely she didn’t care. Neither did her three friends who magically emerged. Seven feet separated us. Finally she paused and looked up. I took the picture. We looked at each other for a bit and then she resumed her morning feeding.
Utah is stunningly gorgeous. Zion was mostly created by the rapids of the Virgin River which, over millions of years, ate away the rock and created the high red walls of the canyons. Imagine. This is a holy place, or so said the Paiutes, the longest human inhabitants before the White Man arrived and claimed ownership. The Paiutes came to camp, to harvest game and medicinal plants and to gather materials needed for life. They came to mingle with the Gods, to revive. I can understand that.
On this morning, a little later, we found a small cave under a small waterfall. We sat down on a rock and closed our eyes and let the world absorb us, take us in its silence.