He was born in the summer of his 27th year
Coming home to a place he’d never been before
He left yesterday behind him, you might say he was born again
You might say he found a key for every door
~John Denver, Rocky Mountain High
I distinctly remember being born in the Spring of my 26th year. It was the morning after a two day, 1400 mile drive. I arrived in the black of a moonless night and set my tent up with the help of a flashlight but mainly by feel for I had erected this temporary shelter countless times. The anticipation of the morning kept kicking me out of a restful sleep. Early morning birdsong drew me out of the little sleep I finally achieved. I crawled out of my tent just before sunrise and watched the rising sun gradually caress the impossibly shaped, red painted monoliths in golden morning light.
I felt an instantaneous affinity with this creation molded by the hand of the ultimate artist. It was the first time I laid eyes upon the grandeur of the Red Rock wonderland at Arches National Park in Southeastern Utah yet I felt I had finally arrived home after a long journey. I experienced an intense visceral connection with the stark land. It was a 2nd birth day for I was born into a home in which I experienced an overwhelming spiritually connection.
I have been back there at least a 1/2 dozen times, the most recent with my wife the week we were married. Each time I arrive, I feel an awakening of my deep rooted connection to this land. It is a coming home party, a coming home to mother, re-entry into the birth canal, exiting again, naked again, born again. Every time I feel weighed down by the accumulated grunge of life, I return. The grunge gets scrubbed away by the blowing red sand as I lay naked on the red rock beneath the intense light of the Southwestern sun. By the time I leave, I feel renewed, rejuvenated, refreshed, reinvigorated, revitalized, revived, restored, re-energized, reborn.
My desire is to have this land be my final resting place. If not my shell laid beneath the sun directly on the red rock where the flesh will feed critters then my ashes scattered over the land to become forever intermixed with the red sand. It seems only fitting that I be laid to rest at the place I feel most connected to eternity.