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My 27 Year Love Affair

God made woman beautiful and foolish; beautiful, that man might lover her, and foolish, the she might love him – Unknown
I have been involved in a love affair for 27 years and counting. Not once during those years has my love ever faltered, ever faded, ever waned. On the contrary, my love has steadily grown over the years and I don’t see this ever changing. My affair has outlasted my marriage and is older than my children. My kids met her once and were enchanted by her grace and beauty. When all my loved ones are gone, she will be there for me, waiting with open arms. Never once has she lied to me or cheated on me or deceived me. She has always been honest, sometimes brutally honest and for that I respect her.

I don’t get to see her very often but when I do, I love to play on her mounds, explore every crack and cranny sometimes for days on end. We have hiked together, backpacked together, mountain biked together, and run rivers together. We have lain naked together and watched the moon light up the night sky and silhouette bats flying overhead in impossible staccato movements as they hunt for insects.

I have not seen her in almost a year which makes my heart ache. I don’t know when I will see her again but I know she will be ever waiting for me, ready to hold me and caress me for as long as I desire. When we are together, my soul opens and I learn things about myself that I have learned from no one else.

I first learned of her via the words of my all time favorite author, Edward Abbey, in his book Desert Solotaire. It was love at first read. I devoured every book he wrote about her and every book he wrote that alluded to her. I read everything I could find about her. My love deepened and I knew, no matter what it took, no matter what it cost me, I had to meet her.

We first met in the Spring of 1986. I had to drive 1500 miles in a Toyota Celica for us to finally meet. I slept in the car so as to complete the journey with minimal delay. I arrived in the dead of night. Rather than setup my tent, I slept on the ground in my down sleeping bag so my eyes could caress her when I opened them in the morning. 

I awoke predawn to the song of birds, songs urging the sun to rise yet again, songs praising the awakening sun. I stood naked in the chilled air eagerly anticipating my love. The first beams broke the horizon and I saw her in all her red splendor. She, the Canyonlands of South Eastern Utah, were breathtaking, more beautiful than words or pictures could ever portray. I was surrounded by the bizarre redrock formations and was completely awed, utterly speechless, deeply in love with this otherworldly landscape that seems impossible, surreal yet is very real.

I don’t know when she and I will get together again. It may be a year, maybe 10 years. I do know though that when I visit her we will pick up lover affair where it left off last year and it will be as if we never parted.


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