A week ago, we went to Arizona to explore the Grand Canyon area. We stayed for two nights in a small motel in Flagstaff, just one hour driving distance away from the most amazing place we’ve ever been. This way, we could explore the Grand Canyon for one day without having to worry about checking in at a new motel.
But like we said in the last post, the road trip was taking its toll on both of us energy-wise. So we left a little bit too late – around 2PM. We already knew where we wanted to go, since there is a small route under the Grand Canyon where you can drive with multiple viewpoints to see it. When we arrived at our first stop ‘Desert View’ we were blown away by the scenery. There was a watchtower on a cliff with an amazing view of the Grand Canyon. No words can describe the feeling we got. We took some pictures, we also took some pictures and we took some more pictures! But next to all the pictures we took, we also shot some cool footage of course!
We enjoyed the scenery for a while at the first viewpoint of the route and before we knew it, it was already 6PM and the watchtower was closing for public access. We decided to head back to the car to quickly see some other viewpoints on the route since I (Jordi) was getting tired. But then it started to rain and hail. It wasn’t a big storm, so we could easily walk to our car, but when we walked the setting sun got my attention.
The contrast of the rain, the sun and the beautiful scenery…I just had to take some more pictures…and that turned into filming. I was hypnotized by the setting sun. It was so beautiful, I couldn’t care less about the rain or the cold. I didn’t want to go anywhere anymore. We decided to stay and watch the sunset right there. The beauty of it all made me forget my exhausted body completely, and I got so inspired to take every possible shot I could imagine. We filmed the whole sunset and the sky was getting red. It was the most amazing spectacle of nature I’ve ever witnessed in my life. I enjoyed it (we both did) and filmed / photographed it continuously till it was completely dark. Then my body was completely exhausted.
I said to Daan, “I can’t take it anymore,” and that says a lot. I even asked Daan to take my camera and lenses from me so I could walk more easily. And just as I gave my camera away, I took 2 steps and fell on the ground. My legs couldn’t even walk me back to the car, and I just fell right on my head. And just like that, the magic was gone…
A million things went through my mind, but the most significant was: ‘Why now!?’ I just experienced the most amazing spectacle of my entire life, I felt like I was on top of the world. I felt true happiness just a minute ago watching the sunset. And now it was all gone…
Anger, sadness, pain and whatever. It all rushed into my head where I felt so happy just a minute ago. It’s strange how fast your emotions can change if you’re not in control of the situation. I stayed on the ground for a minute or two, to remind myself I will not let my handicap rule me; I will not let my barriers decide how I feel. I felt the urge in me to bring into practice what I’ve been writing about the last couple of months. Right then and there I made a decision: I will not let this fall ruin one of the best moments of my life. I said to Daan: “OK, Let’s go!” and he helped me get up and we walked back to the car.
With every step I take, I feel my head pounding from the impact; I feel the sadness and anger. But I also feel the enormous willpower to not let it get me down. The walk to the car is a fight for me in my head. With tears in my eyes I had to fight my barriers, to not let my physical boundaries control me. Because it’s so easy to get depressed on a moment like this and give in to all the feelings…and lose the beautiful moment you experienced right before. It’s a choice…and that choice is a fight!
In the car I put on some music and let my emotions take over. I feel the sadness and anger changing into thankfulness; I am so thankful to have experienced such beauty! With the thankfulness I also feel my happiness coming back. The question “Why?” doesn’t matter anymore. Because I realize that I would choose to do it all over again even if I knew that I would fall. I feel powerful; because I know again that I am bigger than my boundaries and I feel free!
The next day I decided to make a statement. I talked to Daan about heading back to the Grand Canyon, although it was the opposite direction of the way we should be going. He understood it and we decided to get back to ‘Desert View’. I wanted to literally claim back that place. I went back to the place where we enjoyed the sunset the night before and I stood on the place I fell on my head. As a statement, maybe to myself or to my handicap; I am bigger than the boundaries that were forced upon me, they will not hold me back! I claim my victory with another look at the amazing view from the Grand Canyon. And fully enjoy it one more time!
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out!