The Colorado River Has Only One Job

Photo by Eric Murray on Unsplash

At first, they say, there were the Vishnu mountains
650 million years ago
Vishnu the preserver formed the base of 
The greatest canyon of them all

The mighty forces of nature had a plan, a picture in mind
Of a landscape so amazing, beyond all human imagination

A plan executed over millions of years
Some say it is still on
With no hurry, no urgency
But with patience, and rock-hard determination

Mountains were mowed down, rocks were smoothened
Seas and rivers were moved
All toward the great plan

The mighty Colorado river was brought in
She had just one job, as she playfully jumped and rushed along
She had hard work to do

She had to cut through old rocks aged 650 million years
And young rocks a piddly few million years of age
Without discriminating, without stopping
Night and day, year after year, century after century

She had to go on and on
Flowing, splashing, rushing, cutting
Until she herself became a sliver
A mile below where she started

Exposing layers and layers
Of multicolored rocks
Lovingly carved over millennia
Creating a landscape of unprecedented beauty
Of sheer jaw-dropping boldness

Mighty Colorado reduced to a mere ribbon
Along the expansive canyon
Stretching across miles and miles
The Sun turning the rocks
Into a brilliant painting
Color-changing and shifting at will

One visit not enough
To drink in all the beauty
By sunrise, by sunset, by twilight, and by night

One lifetime not enough
to explore all its crevices and caves
And ride down the now happy, now cheerful
Yet sometimes gushing and sometimes fearful Colorado

One pair of eyes not enough
To marvel at nature’s love of art
Her expression, her brilliant palette
Her imagination

The Grand Canyon is nature’s great offering
To entertain, awe, and humble
humanity in one perfect sweep

And yet somewhere there lurks
The suspicion that the landscape is not complete
Not even halfway there
And the heart yearns to see
What one cannot imagine
The Grand Canyon’s final form

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