"The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod...
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs-
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings."
In the vastness of a nature never spent we joyfully rediscovered the dearest freshness deep down things.
I used to be an English-Garden-beauty kind of girl but now it is the expansive, sandstone terrain with its sparse but exquisite flora which captures my imagination.
The silence serenaded me as I walked the trails and sat on sandstone rocks, letting the sun melt away a couple months worth of winter chill.
I think I understand why so many migratory birds pass through Wadi Dana on their way to and from Europe: I can imagine they are enjoying themselves as I watch them float effortlessly through the gorge, riding from one wind current to another.
The broom, in full, fragrant bloom was a-buzz with hundreds of bees. This particular bush was so big that I could easily imagine the prophet Elijah taking shelter under it as is mentioned in I Kings 19--without the bees!
This bird, among others, found it a choice shelter.
Rains had been light this year and flowers few, but once I focused my desert eyes I was not disappointed with the flora beauty I found.
Brightening the landscape in chartreuse clumps, the Euphorbia looked especially fine. And if one looked very carefully they could find a tasseled hyacinth putting on a show:
Somewhere along the way unruly clumps of wild mustard became more beautiful to me than beds of tulips...
and the late afternoon vision of desert sage than a bunch of long-stemmed roses.
I didn't spend all my time alone: we scrambled and hiked...
and otherwise enjoyed each other's company.
Our shrinking family--sniff, sniff. And when did Artist Son get so tall??
Up next: Wadi Dana, The Food