If you travel to Zion National Park, you will find yourself in a canyon.
The rock sides are sheer and reach into the crystal-blue sky.
You will feel small and wonder if these cliffs can be climbed. You learn that of course people have attempted to do just that. Some failed and some died in the attempt. At the bottom of this spectacular canyon runs a river.
The rock walls define the river’s course, but at times when the spring snow melt is abundant, the river jumps right over its banks and walls of water flood the valley. The river is beautiful and ebbs and flows within the confines of the cliffs. The water may eventually wear down rock and expand its boundaries, but this may take more years than our lifetime. Because the cliffs are huge.
If you travel to the Grand Canyon, you will arrive and be at the top of this world-renowned canyon.
You can hike down into it, but many visitors choose to stay at the rim and take in the vast vistas from there, as I did.
At the bottom of this canyon, too, runs a river. It meanders within the rock formations.
Two canyons, two vantage points. Sometimes our lives are like Zion, with problems, disappointments, or hurts that appear immovable, insurmountable, unclimbable. They hem us in and it’s hard to see a way out. At other times, we may see our lives like the Grand Canyon. The imposing walls of problems are something we look back on; they no longer define us or confine us. They are behind us now.
Last weekend I enjoyed getting together with some friends who worked with me at a former job. Several of us suffered through being laid off — the same day — and we hadn’t seen each other since. So we told our stories of that traumatic time. One friend had to give up a much-loved car. One mother had to move out of her home with her girls. But we all are settled again now. We can laugh about the fun times we had working together. We all have jobs, at least today. We’ve come through the canyon of unemployment, though we know we could find ourselves there again in an instant.
In the canyon or on top of it. Wherever we are at the moment, though, a river runs through. At the source, the water of life still flows. We just have to claim it.
Are you in a canyon? Recently on top of one? What helped you through?