Friday, November 04, 2005

Hiking the Grand Canyon - part 7 1/2 - My Mission

4,000 feet above us, Rim dawn woke me at the bottom of “the ditch.” Curled in a ball and cold, stretching made the bare bed springs squeak. Donna didn’t move. I thought about staying put until she awoke, but I had a job to do. How could I get up without making a lot of squeaking noise? … roll off, make the noise all at one. I did. Donna didn’t move.

My stretched out body awoke for inventory: no headache, socks on my teeth, sore back, hands, arms, and fingers worked, feet moved, toes wiggled, blisters said, “hi,” and my knees shouted. Screamed is more like it.

Easing to a sitting position, I picked up my hiking boots and shook them. No scorpions had taken up residence. Boots on and laced, I eased to my knees to stand up, and made it, glad I didn’t have far to go. Gathering the walking stick, matches, and the prayer mail I’d collected over nine months, I opened the flap and went outside.

The cool, dry air was silent. From a distant camp the smell of coffee brewing confirmed other human life. Our pack was still high in the scrub brush where Donna had placed it - no overnight shoppers. Deer and ring-tail cats didn’t announce their presence, but I suspect they knew about us. Small creatures scurried for their breakfast.

On the floor of God’s magnificent creation, I raised my eyes skyward giving praise and thanks. One by one I lifted each unopened prayer letter up to God, with the hope that the effort made to get here added oomph.

Easing to the floor, I tore all the prayer letters into little pieces and struck a match. They had to be burned, and their ashes left here on earth’s great altar. I might never know if they were answered. It didn't matter. My job was to deliver them. The last shred of paper burned itself out. Before I could get up, peace flooded my soul; mission accomplished.

(more life at the bottom later)

Copyright 2005 Red Convertible Travel Series      

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