Tempest The Soul

long's photomontage of sand

The best way I can describe the feeling of Owens Valley is its pervading dialectic of hostility and serenity. Having the chance to feel the air, the sand, and the water was almost a baptizing experience for me, even though I’ve never been baptized before…We left for Owens Valley with our crew of six on spring rainy day in April.  Never had we knew what kind of weather lay before us; I recall our van being pounded down by rain and pushed around by the wind in sporadically. When we arrived at the valley, I felt a chilling, harrowing atmosphere that struck through my being again and again.  Perhaps it was in the clouds – how it came and passed, unfurling to cast different masks upon the rocks and trees.  It was a humbling feeling being flanked by two strands of mountains, among the tallest in the world.

The lake, the mountains, and the sky were capricious in demeanor.  The lake appeared stagnant, unperturbed. Yet a slightest gust could mean a coming tempest seen at a distance.  I was especially baffled by the harlequin mountains of red and blue.  That windy day when we climbed the rocks at Alabama Hills, gave insight as to how the rocks came to be because of the wind and the etchings it had created made over eons – it was essentially sand that froze.  Reaching beyond the terracotta rocks stands Mt. Whitney appearing bluish, gray and aloof.  I felt that I stood in a rift, where two worlds are bound together but never touching.  The sight was bastardly, but glorious.

This field trip overall was an invaluable experience to me.  I’ve witnessed two sides of the coin when it comes to the tale of water, and how it ought to be used by various accounts of people.  I’ve never been a political person, but I understand the amount of effort and dedication it takes to negotiate on the use of a precious resource we call water.  No one is completely right in this regard.


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