They couldn’t access the deep canyon when they built the housing project on the mesa, so they left it alone, wild and untouched. When the projects filled with families, almost no one entered its steep wildness; it was too dark looking, and who knows what could be living down there?
I was a boy; it’s edge was a hundred feet from my back door and I could be hidden in its wilds within seconds. It became my refuge and my sanctuary—my duties were in the project above, but my life was deep in the canyon.
I had read of places with lush forests and wide rivers, and as I searched out the canyon’s secrets, watching and listening, I dreamed of being in the Pacific Northwest. My canyon gave me both the right and the place in which to dream—and my dream came true.
I often think now of those long canyon days, of the sweet, clean smells of its bushes and trees, of its clear winter creek, and of the quiet—mostly of the quiet.
Every child needs canyon in which they can hide in order to discover themselves.
Did you have yours?