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Park 4

Space, time, wind and rain made sentinels to witness and protect. These watchers have earned the white upon their heads and the posture of the unbowed. They watch the valley, the turn of every season on the wheel. They watch the seed that falls; the one that grows and the one that does not. They watch the brief moment of the ground squirrel and the second of the lily.

Humans who gaze for mere minutes are beneath their note. There is some crowd of humans there with the sun and always gone as soon. Some few of them walk a bit and fewer still manage a day, a week, a month. None stay. None understand the long watch of the sentinels who have seen time before humans ever were. I wished I were one who could stay a day, a week, a month. I would have lost myself in hiking among the sentinels, learning the personality of each one and how it changed from morning until night.

Bryce blooms with winter’s generous snow pack and more rain than previous years. Flowers celebrated. The Utah State flower, the Segoe Lily, looked for all the world like a happy clown emoticon. Trees at the canyon rim were vigorously green and strengthening for the lean years. As in all forests, some dead trees revealed their secret way of growing. The pines naturally twist their trunks as they grow which make the tree stronger as it reaches out to the sky.

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