This week I went on a trip I waited my whole life to take. I took a trip to the Grand Canyon. I also saw an extinct volcano, Sunset Crater, a meteor crater, Meteor Crater, Lowell Observatory and Walnut Canyon. There were two things that struck me as I visited these amazing sites.

The two things that struck me were about my own personal journey. I believe each person that visits a place like any of these, sees something different.

About 5 years ago I set out on a path to simplify my life and create natural health for myself and my family so the first thing that struck me was how the past natives of this land used plants and nature to heal their bodies. They lived as one with the earth; in tandem with the earth rather than trying to tame it. They took only what they needed and gave back. They were in touch with the spirituality of creation and used instinct to guide them on how to give back to the earth, water, sun, sky.

Rather than see a past, extinct culture, I experienced teachers. These tribes are teachers of how we should be in touch with the earth and each other.

The other thing that struck me was when my kids started to pick up rocks and toss them was the Boy Scout philosophy “Leave No Trace”. This philosophy is about respecting the environment and leaving it as you found it for others to enjoy. What each of us gets is a beautiful memory. We have photos and pictures in our minds of the amazing landscape that we take with us. This reminded me of my personal journey in life as a military brat. We moved around a lot and often people have asked if that made my childhood difficult. I loved the moving around because I got to experience new and different environments and people. I get to take that with me just as the lives I touched have their memories of me.

We, as humans, should not need a physical trace of the existence of others or experiences but rather a spiritual trace. These traces of human contact are what we reflect back.

As the natives moved to a new location as a people, they considered the old dwelling to be sacred. They honored the lives of their ancestry by holding these past dwellings in their hearts. This is how I have chosen to live my life, honoring the lives of those who touched my life in my memory and heart.

I always wanted to see the Grand Canyon and Walnut Canyon and the cave dwellings and I left with so much more than photos. I found an experience and an appreciation for the simplicity of life that the natives who walked before me lived.