The Call to Deepen Vision: Nature Sojourn on the Colorado Plateau

Call of the Southwest, Grand Canyon, Vision in Nature

The Call to Deepen Vision

Nature sojourn solo journey: reflections from a 4-day Colorado Plateau canyons pilgrimage that abruptly ended on 9-11 of 2001.  Grand Canyon north rim, Zion narrows, Antelope Canyon article by Sandra Cosentino

Being our authentic self is our gift to the world. Spiritual energies of the universe flow in a powerful, direct way from Source through Nature. She resonates in every fiber of my being and is calling me, calling each of us, to be more than we know we are. I invite you to seek out places that fill you with passion and longing and go be in loving communion with your soul and nature.

The Calling

I felt the call for canyon time-out with insistent urgency in late summer of 2001.   I was being pushed from within to to step out past my comfort zone and open to new possibilities.  Always, when I have answered that inner calling to go to places of natural power and energy, new horizons opened that I had not seen before.   This cellular level vibrational infusion dissolves the old carapace and enlarges my horizons. New doors of creative expression open.

The Places

Sitting on the edge of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and of the unknown me, the jagged cliff face sheers straight down toward the turquoise ribbon of the Colorado River far below. For me, this is a Holy Place, not far from the sipapuni, the Hopi mythological place of emergence into this the fourth world.  I call her the Womb of Creation and am often drawn to go there to recalibrate.

I am aware of my own abyss, but irresistibly attracted by force greater than my mind can grasp. Time and again when my mind wants to spin, I come back to attentive focus on the textures, the purple, green and red layers of the landscape temples before. Every nuance comes into sharp focus: the abrupt ree..eee squawk of the pinyon jay announcing his presence, the soft feel of cool early fall breeze quivers the needles on the pinion pine and flows over my body like silk, then gusts in a strong who-who whooshing voice.

This is my practice of Presence. When my mind wants to analyze, categorize, plan, project, I notice it and make a choice to deepen my breath and come back down into the body. For only in the present moment can inspiration flow in.

eagleVast canyon scape evokes sense of freedom:

“She could not estimate distance. But she did not need that to realize her perceptions were swallowed up by magnitude. Hitherto the power of her eyes had been unknown. How splendid to see afar! She could see–yes–but what did she see? Space first, annihilating space, dwarfing her preconceived images, and then wondrous colors! What had she known of color? No wonder artists failed adequately and truly to paint mountains, let alone the desert space. The toiling millions of the crowded cities were ignorant of this terrible beauty and sublimity. Would it have helped them to see? But just to breathe that untainted air, just to see once the boundless open of colored sand and rock–to realize what the freedom of eagles meant would not that have helped anyone?

And with the thought there came to Carley’s quickened and struggling mind a conception of freedom. She had not yet watched eagles, but she now gazed out into their domain. What then must be the effect of such environment on people whom it encompassed? The idea stunned Carley. Would such people grow in proportion to the nature with which they were in conflict? Hereditary influence could not be comparable to such environment in the shaping of character.”

from The Call of the Canyon by Zane Grey, a Western novelist who wrote this while living in Oak Creek Canyon near Sedona in 1920.


Zion Canyon Narrows. Slim waterfalls cascade over the rounded cliff face rising over 1000 feet above. Hiking in the Virgin River, I lean heavily on my walking stick to keep balance on the slick algae-coated boulders. This cleft is the Narrows in Zion Canyon, Utah. Rain upstream can bring a sudden torrent of water rushing through the narrow, winding confined slot. Knowing this adds to my sense of exhilaration, adventure.

Moving water is a constant background hum and carries a moist, organic smell. Hanging gardens form in seeps wonderfully exotic with moss, ferns, orange stars, red firecracker penstemons.

Giant stone temples tower overhead and in a flashing moment we merge and I too am a temple–God’s music and celestial light shining on water, in orange rock, in my heart.

Antelope Canyon. On the open plateau lands of the Navajo Reservation, Arizona, I walk into a deep dry crack in the Navajo sandstone–dunes frozen in place from the time when dinosaurs walked the earth. The sandy floor is only 4 to 8 feet wide narrowing overhead to a slit arching in domed swirls and jagged promontories. This cross-section reveals angled bedding of the wind-driven dunes now cut through by water in sensuous corkscrew curves. My fingers caress the surprisingly smooth, nubby textured wall, more like a tapestry than stone.

Sun light illumines the crack like a sand lantern burning in luminous shades of orange, yellow and red. Painted by light. This is my quest to be infused by Light direct from Source. In hushed awe I am right here now a radiant star of light.

Abrupt End of Journey on 9-11.  Day 4 of my sojourn was to be a day on the Colorado River rafting through Glen Canyon.  On the way to the put-in point at Page Dam we heard the news of the fall of the Twin Towers in New York and the federal dam site was locked down.  Abruptly my pilgrimage ended.  In shock, I drove south toward Sedona through the Colorado Plateau primordial landscapes listening in disbelief to the horrific news.

Visionary Experience After the Journey
Stimulated by this journey, a powerful Navajo guide came to me in the dreamtime showing me the essence of vision quest. Sitting still with her body curved forward, alone amid endless dunes, the Navajo grandmother sees through the sands of time. Her tiered skirt ripples in the desert wind. Lines etched in her face reveal the sculpting forces of wind and sun. She does not doubt who she is. Confidence radiates out from eyes that penetrate my inner truth. Nowhere to hide, I am drawn into her aura of natural power.  I absorb this vibrational infusion and carry it forward into my next becoming.

Related articles:

Vision Quest-Solo Communion in Nature article
Vision Quest Perspectives article

Related Programs:

Sedona Vision Quest Retreat
Nature, Soul & Mystic Vision Retreat

article first posted October 1, 2001 and updated January 4, 2017