What is inner; what outer? How can I convey the utter timelessness of this place & what this conveys to me? The nourishment to my soul; the expansion of my heart as I try to encompass the environment too large for li’l ole me to assimilate…how can I relay these feelings?
I move in a kind of concert with the ground, my eyes roving over the rolling landscape. I can understand why being on horseback is the way to really see this land – the height increase, even of a few feet, lifts one over the low-growing shrubs & permits a wider angle of view of a territory so vast it can only be appreciated in increments. Much as my eyes would love to take this all in, I see it in layers & slices: I perceive a tree, a cloud train looking for all the world like an ephemera of mountains, white shadows of the peaks below so solidly holding up the horizon. I long to be walking all over it while knowing there are slants & dips & lifts & hollows which would swallow me indifferently as a leaf blown from a tree. Nothing is as important as this gravity of gravel & grit; I don’t even register as an afterthought to this landscape, after all.
Here & there the risings of land are slashed open. What seems like a small crevice is wide enough to pull a car through. The distance shrinks the measure. Close up, I revise any thoughts I had on, “That’s not so big, is it?” Indeed it is. What caused this separation in the land? Is this how whole continents pulled apart in division later magnified by water? And where is the water here? How did it figure in…or did the land simply pull itself apart, divided by time & climate?
And after I see the dizzying enormity of it all, I realize I hear nothing. At all. I feel my ears expanding into satellite dishes on either side of my head as they attempt to hear the silence. I am so unused to absence of sound. No rustling of trees, no lapping waters, no traffic noise. I will have to become accustomed to this by retraining other senses.
I will never know the answers fully for how I respond to this environment. But that won’t stop the questions either.