Halfway through our route, I looked behind me, up-canyon, into an earthen vessel, cradling a redbud tree in the very path of the water that carved the chamber from solid stone.
Rooted into cracks in the rock, with nothing that can fairly be called soil, it drinks from the scanty moisture and the pooling shadows that collect right there in the canyon’s bottom, and almost nowhere else in this rugged landscape. Out here, at the edge of its range, this redbud is healthy, large even, probably older than I am.
How many deadly floods, powerful enough to tear out the little tree by the roots, did it take to create a canyon like this? How infrequent must the big ones be, over how many eons? The timeline hurts my mind.
The tree and I arise from, are nourished by, the power that will destroy us each in time. The remoteness, the inaccessibility, the ever-present dangers of water and gravity in the canyon’s heart - these are the same qualities that make this a perfect, if finite, sanctuary for the redbuds. This is my sanctuary, too.