Naming What I See, Naming Time

In my previous post, I mentioned developing a mindfulness practice of bringing awareness: to what I’m experiencing by naming it. Very often, naming equates to differentiation: what I am seeing is remarkable (i.e. I’m remarking upon it) because it is different from other things I see.

Within a couple hours of leaving the Bay Area yesterday, I got up into the high country and have been back in snows, above treeline, back down again and up again. Fascinating what a barometer the trees are. Or an altimeter–get too high up and they disappear. These scrubby silver-green shrubs give such a monochrome cast to the scenery. Much of the Nevada stretch of my journey yesterday and today looked like this; even more monochrome when more overcast. I passed a flock of sheep who all looked the same color as the shrubs around them.

Something else, though, that I sought to put a name to, was the quality of the sky.

It looked like this in northern CA, in Mt. Shasta country, also. The “difference” is how the clouds stack three dimensionally, at the same not-very-great height but one behind the other, as if suspended above a stage set. It says big sky, broad mountains, the clouds like speech bubbles in between them.

This is Bryce Canyon. Snow on red rock, labyrinth of the mind.

The “natural bridge” blew me away, but this photograph doesn’t do it justice.

Utah is one hour ahead of CA, NV–and AZ, since AZ, very sensibly, doesn’t participate in the daylight savings nonsense. I got a late start this morning after driving too late last night, later than I had energy for, and when I crossed into UT and learned (smart phone!) that I’d “lost” an hour, I repined a little–even less time to do stuff. But with the next heartbeat, I decided not to consider it an hour lost. I’d been gaining and losing elevation for two days straight, but my ears could always pop. I, of all people, well know that time cannot be lost.


  • Bryce Canyon is amazing, isn’t it? And the contrast with the skies is just awesome, in the true sense of the word. I look forward to getting back there some day. Safe journey!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *