My world has been very busy at the North Rim. Amongst my daily schedule of working in the visitor center a couple hours, presenting one to three programs, and roving in between to answer visitor questions I am the lead for our Artist-in-Residence program. Click here to learn about this program offering artists a chance to live and work at National Parks.
Six artists, in almost any genre, are chosen each year to stay at the North Rim Grand Canyon National Park for three weeks to immerse themselves, allow their creativity to flow, interact with visitors and present outreach programs in the park and upon returning home.
A couple weeks ago I joined the visiting Artist-in-Residence (AIR), poet Thea Gavin, on a nature walk with other visitors. We stopped at a quiet overlook and sat 5 minutes with eyes closed followed by another 5 minutes eyes open. Then we wrote what came to mind following Thea’s suggestions of starting with “It is _____ again…” and ending with “The _______ tells me….” Here’s what I ended up writing.
It is June again at the canyon.
The wind sometimes caresses
or makes me feel unsteady.
During a lull, soft bird song drifts past,
increasing to tree rustle, grasses wave, shadow dance.
Yet even when strong wind blows the song of the canyon my way
I prefer it to the noisy family that needs to
“Move on because of the beauty.”
The wind tells me to look inside at
my own turbulence and
find the calm.
–Gaelyn Olmsted 6/24/11
(The place we sat had a noisy family come by briefly.)
I need to do this more often. We all do.
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