Cascades Of Joy

We wind through the roads outside Bogotá, and a glimpse of red rock makes me think I am in Sedona. Around the next bend, the trees pop out as in the Pacific Northwest, so fresh they seem fake to my Arizona eyes. These corollaries dictate how interwoven I am with landscape; how it exerts its pull over me and how I embrace it.

The curves here feel deliciously similar to those through Oak Creek Canyon, on the Moki Dugway, or toward the North Rim of Grand Canyon, except there is no heavenly decadence in cookie form awaiting my arrival, but instead arepas and pañuelos de choclo smothered in shockingly pink sauce. My stomach turns with the familiar excitement of carsickness, knowing the unsettled internal flops will soon calm when we disembark.

Reflections on natural surroundings and place ruminate through my mind as our bus chugs through the greenery. What is this flora? Where am I? How did I even get here? Each passing moment in Colombia paradoxically connects me to the foundations of home. A subtle shift has been brewing as I have moved from unconsciously comparing to embracing connections. While a glimpse of sun through the Bogotá fog might have made my heart pang for incomparable Arizona skies two months ago, now I am thrilled when graced with a sliver of her golden hue. The intentionality of gratitude has guided me through waves of uncertainty.

A friend once asked me if I thought the world was big or small. At the time, I answered with an uncertain, “Both?” But now, I would emphatically tell you, “Yes.” Grammatical accuracy aside, the world is full of yes. Yes to the trees, yes to the mountains, yes to the magic waterfalls, those cascades of joy that tingle through your bones, your heart, your soul with a very aliveness that awakens your spirit. Yes to it all. Yes.




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