This past month we had the opportunity to gather three generations of our family at the Grand Canyon when my wife and I traveled with our sons to join my parents in celebrating their golden wedding anniversary at a place they visited on their engagement trip 50 years prior. We had all visited the Grand Canyon together five years ago on the occasion of my father’s 70th birthday. Plans are already in the works for another visit in five years’ time to celebrate my father’s 80th birthday.
I find the Grand Canyon to be an ideal place to reflect upon the passage of time in our lives. Viewing the layers upon layers of rock that were formed over millions of years, and then gradually carved out by the waters of the Colorado River, the flow of time is on display in a rare and magnificent fashion.
On this trip, we learned that the canyon continues to evolve as the river flows like sandpaper, carrying sediment and boulders in its current. When the spring snowmelt comes down from the Rocky Mountains, strong flows of water carry boulders the size of automobiles that scrape against the riverbed, helping to carve the canyon even deeper through the layers of hard, dry rock. Even with all these dramatic and powerful forces of nature at work, a park ranger told us, “You can come back in 50 years and the canyon will be deeper by about the thickness of one Harry Potter book.”Continue reading “This Marvelous Human Life”