23 September 2010

Providence Canyon State Park, Lumpkin, GA

 (I've been behind at updating my blog, but I've been writing.  We're now in Tennessee, but here is what I wrote about our visit to Providence Canyons State Park.  Looks like my blogs won't be posted in real-time ... but that's because I'm so busy enjoying what is happening in each moment.)

We started our journey on August 31st by driving straight from Orlando to Lumpkin, GA.  We arrived in the middle of the night and slept for a few hours in the car before waking up to the sun rising near Providence Canyons State Park.  Sleep deprived and sore from sleeping in contorted positions in our packed car, we drove to the park and put on our hiking boots …

First view of the canyons from above, before entering the park.

Augustus signing us in.

The canyons weren’t formed naturally; they were actually formed within 10 years due to poor farming practices in the area.  Gus explains the reasoning, cause and science of it a whole lot more clearly in his blog (theelegantvagrant.blogspot.com).  Regardless, the canyons are beautiful in their own right and stand as a testament to the complex composition of the earth we stand on.  The colors of the canyons are unbelievable, similar to something you’d expect to see in the Southwest.  We spent a few hours exploring the area.  We were tired and truly, the most exciting aspect of it all for me was simply being somewhere outside of Orlando -- outside of a city, away from traffic … being close to trees, earth, insects, and breathing in cleaner air.

Georgia clay - breaking in our hiking boots!

It was disappointing to see that some of the canyons had graffiti carved into them from previous visitors – names, pictures.  Should it have bothered me?  I wonder, especially when one considers that the canyons are a form of graffiti on the earth themselves -- albeit unintentional, born from ignorance and carelessness.  The two situations don’t seem all that different as I describe them.  A person who carves their name into a state park’s canyon, isn’t that action born from a form of ignorance, carelessness?  Can a person be absolutely blamed for their ignorance?  Isn’t much carelessness a result of ignorance?  Are these symptoms, or is it a disease?

As humans, we often view ourselves as separate entities from the physical and natural world around us, rather than recognizing ourselves as a participating and belonging part of it.  Why else do we litter, waste, overuse, and overconsume?  The human ego is a funny thing; our collective consciousness beats restlessly in parts, our tentative, loose, or total lack of cohesion with each other seems to separate us from nature, as well.  Too many questions posed, too little knowledge and intellect to clearly state my wonderings.  Who am I to be disappointed in graffiti?  I refuse misanthropy, even when it teases and tempts me.  I am human, and restlessness stirs inside of me, and what do I really know?  Nothing.  Most graffiti can be considered someone's feelings and someone's art– my selfish human brain just wishes for it to always be beautiful. Regardless of my expectations and our following experience, the canyons were definitely pleasing to the eye.

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