Basin Collage Essay

Fire blooms in the basin floor. It left behind charred remnants, planted still in the Earth. A raging inferno, razing the land, scorched remains, skeletons of once living trees. But from death comes rebirth, and once more the basin is green. It feels alive and breathing, as the wind winds through the canyon walls. Tall reeds rustle and dance, a beautiful symphony performed by the hands of Mother Nature. Three people crash into scene, a discordant note marring the otherwise perfect composition. They attempt to understand what it is, how it came to be. Suddenly a violent explosion of orange on the crest of the cliff above; the unaware travelers continue along in the sights of two hunting rifles.

“Those don’t look like deer, Frank,” one hunter drawled, lowering his rifle.

“Out here in the arid rolling prairies… meat is meat, hand me my silencer.”

Fred reached into his bag, withdrawing the silencer he extended it towards Frank, hand trembling. “Are… are you sure about this Frank?” he squeaked, terror overtaking his body.

“There can be no other way,” Frank said, “or the great waters will come over the falls once more.”

“STOP!” yelled a collective unconscious, freezing the would-be assassins in their thoughts.

“You shall not harm these men,” spoke the force emanating from a place called Dry Falls. “You have encroached upon the land for a final time. Destroying the hoofed grazers for selfish gain, this place is NOT YOUR PLACE. These men you see accepted me, allowed me entrance into their beings. Your guns will do them no harm. They are protected by me, for I am them. They are as much a part of this place as this place is a part of them. Leave now, poachers, or you shall see your death among the scorched ground below.”

The unsuspecting men below continue to write, ignorant of the conflict high above.

“Did you just feel that raindrop…?” one man asks the other.

An explosion of the senses from fresh rain, new smells and colors erupt from the surroundings, an overwhelming experience rinsing away the fear created by the now retreating hunters.

“Yeah, that’s rain. We’d better get ready to head back soon,” one says, but continues to write.

“This waterproof paper is catching more than my field notes,” one laughs, “I think the hour hike back better begin soon.”

We sit in silence for a little while longer, allowing the beauty to seep in; a connection is felt. We begin to feel the place and become the place and know this is what we’ve been looking for. The three depart, leaving nothing behind but taking a part of the place within them.

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