To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
To See A World by William Blake
Usually when one travels a road, a definite destination is in mind. Sometimes, taking a road less travelled reveals a place of magic where the elements have coalesced into natural wonders.
On a recent roadway we decided to venture off onto a dusty road in the Kansas desert. For miles in each direction, one saw only the landscape of desert—brown.
It was a picturesque day. The sun radiated through few clouds.
The cerulean sky seemed to touch the sands of time. Brown and blue was the artist’s palette for this scenery.
There is majesty about a desert panorama. It stretches in all directions with its edges touching the oval sky as if in contrast to what life exists on this planet traversing the cosmos.
As we drove, in the distance a faint shape of white was visible. The niveous tint was as if some white paint had dipped from another palette used for clouds.
Closer we came, the more magnificent the sight became. We had ventured into a land of solitary giants—Monument Rocks.
It was a windy time among these ancient giants of times forgotten. The only sounds beside the crying winds of the past and present were the soaring birds who have found niches for their habitat.
Standing there we had an overwhelming sense of being in a special place where myth and history coalesced into the present. For these chalk pyramids are indeed a place of legend.
One can only surmise how the rocks had impacted lives over the countless centuries. What if they could tell tales of those who had journeyed there and made their homes or just gazed upon their imperial beauty?
The sense of wonder and inspiration could be felt among these aged formations. One could understand how one could encounter the Great Spirit or other beings among these reminders of an ancient earth.
If you ever have the opportunity, visit these guardians of the past. It was day when were there, but I am sure the night sky with its argentous moonbeams would add mystery to this place on a dusty road far from the beaten path of life.
For here in the Western Kansas desert infinity and eternity have graced this barren landscape with an empyreal gateway. Perhaps at certain seasons, the dance of angels or the actual Greek translation—“messengers” takes place to remind one of the cosmic connection which exists in every molecule.
G. D. Williams © 2018
All pictures are from my collection. They may be used freely if credit is given to Lochgarry Blog.
“The towering formations are the remnants of the Western Interior Seaway that once separated Western and Eastern North America during the Cretaceous Period. Carbonates, such as limestone, can be found where the seaway dried over millions of years, suggesting abundant calcareous algae in the ancient waters. The rocks here are a treasure trove of fossils and prehistoric remnants.
“Also known as the “Chalk Pyramids, ” the huge stones each have a unique shape and some would say, personality. Some of the formations have even been given names such as “The Eye of the Needle” and ” Charlie the Dog.” The formations are so iconic that they were named the first national natural landmark in America and have even been named one of the eight wonders of Kansas.”
“On the western edge of Gove County is Monument Rocks, a series of large, heavily sculpted chalk monoliths that are sometimes referred to as the Chalk Pyramids. The site has been designated as a National Natural Landmark. In eastern Gove County is Castle Rock, a chalk spire that stands by itself in the valley of Hackberry Creek, though immediately south of Castle Rock is an extensive outcrop of chalk, capped by the younger Ogallala Formation.” https://www.kansassampler.org/8wonders/8wondersofkansas-view.php?id=12
“Monument Rocks are composed of the Smoky Hill Chalk Member of the Niobrara Chalk. Despite its name, the Niobrara Chalk is a geologic formation made up mainly but not entirely of chalk, and the layers at Monument Rocks include chalky limestone and chalky shale.
“The chalk beds first became famous in the 19th century for fossils of giant swimming reptiles called mosasaurs and plesiosaurs, gliding pterosaurs, aquatic birds with teeth, 20-foot-long fish, clams up to six feet in diameter, and many types of smaller marine animals. Fossils are not as common at Monument Rocks as they are in the less-visited badlands and outcrops along the Smoky Hill, Saline, and Solomon rivers and their tributaries.” http://geokansas.ku.edu/monument-rocks
This piece of music by Pablo Arellano gives the right mood for contemplation of the chalk pyramids and other mysteries of the cosmos: