I’ve been driving through Arizona and Utah with family for the past few days. Aside from the extended periods of sitting in the car, it’s been amazing moving about the outdoors, spending time in different settings, standing in awe together of the super structures out there. It was also a great chance to be under the sun and to roam barefooted.
There are countless places of beauty. Red layered mountains, vast horizons of yellow green shrub, verdant forest, and turquoise hills covering floors of rust colored dirt. Rivers blue as sapphire churn against burgundy rock banks.
The best way I can find to commune with these natural places is to take off my sandals and let the energy flow through my feet. I open up my soul to the earth and feel calm and peace. I feel I can never “get” enough of it. If I stayed until I was full, I would have a white beard, maybe even be under the ground.
The more I connect with earth, the more this feeling grows. Life as I live it won’t fully accommodate the need for rooting myself into the ground. But it becomes a creative game to get as close as possible. And when I’m road tripping, it gets pretty easy. There aren’t as many people to raise eyebrows at my shoeless antics.
Social factor aside, there just aren’t as many places to be earthing in the city. Most of the ground is covered in asphalt, glazed concrete or tile, or wood and carpet, all of which are non-conductive material. The open desert is exposed and much of it still provides access to the earth’s electrical charge.
We found a beautiful river along our way, flowing off of the Colorado. Coming to the place, I could feel the energy. It felt similar to camping in the Sequoia National Forest area. A vibrant peace emanated through the air. I shed my sandals and found my way to the water, sinking ankle deep into the wet bank. Ice cold water washed over me and I had to breathe deep to keep myself from jumping back.
A red butte rose up from the opposite side, standing strong and resisting the chortling waters. I took in the way the river changed colors across its width. First light brown at the edge of the sandy shore, fading into a smooth emerald in the middle, and then converting to a dark, grayish blue against the butte.
The contrast between the blue water and red rock was almost too much to comprehend at first sight. If someone had painted these colors against each other, I wouldn’t have any trouble looking at it. But the fact that they existed together like this in nature, effortlessly, made a deep impact on my soul.
We spent about an hour or so there. Most of the time I wandered along the bank, breathing, staying as long as I could in the cold water. Little birds flitted between the dense reeds further away from the river, making little chirps and cracks in the branches. Clouds of swallows circled the air, making quick, veering turns around each other.
Standing in the sand barefoot, I felt and knew I was a guest in this great place. I felt afraid, awestruck, but at home all at once. It was like visiting a friend’s huge mansion for the first time. Humbling.