Thursday, March 22, 2007

Equinox Overlook

Equinox Bones
Originally uploaded by mdt1960.
21 March 2007: Late this afternoon as the sun was making its way toward the western horizon, I headed for the mesa (Polecat Bench) north of town. It was the first day of spring—the equinox—and as usual, I was out to photograph the light on this special day. I do the same when the solstices come around too.

Once the sun was down and the "good" light was gone, my frantic pace associated with photography and diminishing light left me and I found myself standing on a small lip of cliff overlooking an obscure little canyon on the bench's south side. The air was starting to chill in the absence of the sun. Like the Four Corners (Navajo Reservation), the silence was complete. I scanned the horizon and everything in between.

It's times like these when the most profound thoughts come to me. By "profound" I would likely say these thoughts are simply more intense rather than deep or knowledgeable.

Gazing over at the dirtied and cluttered outcropping of oil/gas-extracting related equipment on the other side of the canyon, I couldn't help but think how primitive it all looked—out of place and disgusting too, like a circus clown showing up for a funeral.

I pondered the human race and its harnessing of energy through the ages. Constant of all has been the sun—since crawling out of our caves we have tapped its invisible rays for one thing or another. This lasting relationship of man and renewable energy would seem destined to evolve and refine itself further. Surely future societies will look back on all of this someday and say, "Man, where they ever stupid." And perhaps we'd already be there by now if there wasn't so much money to be made in the business of fossil fuels. I asked my wife when I returned home, "If you owned an oil company and knew that all of your customers could obtain their fuel needs through a renewable and relatively free source, wouldn't you drag your heels as long as you could?"

Next, I spied the crescent moon drifting toward the Beartooth Plateau where the sun had just disappeared. Not far from it was Venus. Even in the blueness of the waning sky, the planet was visible—the first star of the night. I thought of my recently deceased cat and friend, Sadie. I thought about those last moments with her and what happened as she drifted from my arms into that place that awaited her next. I imagined her saying to me, "You can't even grasp 5% of what this is all about." Even a cat ascends so much higher than my simple self once finished here.

Indeed, the silence and stillness touch me. I suppose someone else might experience the same in such settings and interpret it all as the voice of God speaking to them. Perhaps it is and I'm not bright enough to recognize who's speaking to me, but in my mind—I wonder sometimes—does it matter who's speaking to me as long as I hear them?