March 28, 2008

katie-in-cap.jpg Special thanks to guest blogger, Katie Lee – one of the few people to travel Glen Canyon prior to the Glen Canyon Dam.

It pours over my flushed, hot face– a chilling, cold gift that flows from a breathtaking place in that hot and burnished desert. Even though my eyes and the bridge of my nose are numb and aching with the cold, my cheeks and lips burning under this icy fountain, I do not pull away. I’m locked in a painful kind of ecstasy. Random drops sprinkle my hair. I feel the soft tickle of moss against my cheek–its caress like loving fingers.

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Tilting my chin higher I part my lips to taste the gift. At first I do not swallow, but let it tumble, thrash and overrun my mouth until my teeth ache with the chilling sweetness. Now I open my throat and swallow the rapture, hungrily. I open my eyes. Thru rippling water, I see bobbing maidenhair fern, smooth flesh-tinted canyon walls, clinging moss and glistening rock above this spring of gracious water—the Savior when it gently flows, the Killer when it rages. But this is only one of many streams to soothe the burning–there are hundreds of cataracts to lounge on, many languid waterfalls to stand under in these glorious canyons along the Glen. I lie down on the cataract ledges, roll over them and hug them, pull the mosses over my breasts and let them drape down my body, literally dressing myself in nature. Moving cautiously down a slippery slide, I come to the edge of the pool and wade in. Watching goose bumps spread over my skin reminds me of the coming winter—where I’ll be singing in some snowbound city, pouring all my woes into my guitar—where I’ll hold my vision to this refuge, dream about my Glen Canyon and the river I can’t wait to get back to. My special river.

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The one that won’t be here anymore!

Katie Lee
Copyright – April 2000

** Katie Lee will be an honored guest at Drilling Down: Water and the Southwest – a special corollary to the Moving Mountains Symposium on Water.

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