It is such a secret place, the land of tears. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince
The Weeping Rock Trail in Zion National Park may be the land of tears for Mother Earth. Yesterday was my first time walking this trail and although the water wasn’t flowing in great abundance with impressive waterfalls, it was beautiful. The water that “weeps” out of the rocks to keep the hanging gardens lush, moist, and green is about 1200 years old, as it’s been held between two rock strata, Kayenta and Navajo sandstone.
I got a late start to my day, beginning with a field trip to Ali’s Organics in LaVerkin, Utah and having coffee with a friend before doing something in nature, preferably near water. I headed to Zion National Park before noon, the hottest part of the day, and decided that I would take it easy and walk the Weeping Rock Trail.
When I got on the Zion Park shuttle bus, I sat across from a family with two daughters and began almost immediately having a conversation with the seven-year old, Kinsley, based on hand and facial gestures. She wore a t-shirt with the peace sign on it and had a hoodie tied around her with “love” and “peace” written all over it. Her mother’s earrings were simple dangles of the peace sign. Through conversation with her mother, I found that they were from Arizona and had visited a couple of weeks earlier and liked it enough to return. They, like me, were heading to Weeping Rock.
The shuttle dropped us off and I wasted no time getting to the trail and my destination where I sat for quite a few minutes. I found a spot at the end of the lookout on the stone wall where I could sit without getting too wet. It would’ve made a great spot to meditate if there were fewer people around – the lush greens, rich red rocks, and sound of dripping water.
Not too much longer I saw Kinsley and her mother come to the far end of the lookout where I was. Kinsley’s smile was gone. I watched as her mother tried to get her to smile for a photo, but without success. Kinsley had an artistic appearance, so I decided to see if she was interested in photography and would take my photo with my camera. She almost smiled when I asked, so I took my Canon Rebel out and hung it around her neck. I showed her the button, put the setting on automatic, and gave her a little guidance on the background shot I wanted. I made pouting and silly faces for the first few before giving her my best smile.
After Kinsley was finished with me, I asked if I could take photos of her, with her mother’s permission. She agreed to let me. The first one she almost smiled. Then I had her sit on the wall with her legs up. We played a little with the pose before she finally relaxed and the smile I saw on her face earlier returned. I was able to take a couple of photos of both Kinsley alone and with her mother using my camera and theirs.
Photo therapy? Art therapy? Or, was it the healing power of the water? After all, “It is such a secret place, the land of tears.”