An old man and his wife traveled down the bumpy dirt road to Tuweep. On the map, it was a single dot along the Colorado river. All the windows were open, and the air was hot and dry, just as one would expect for Mid-July. In the back seat their hound was resting beside a small urn. They passed no other cars. The guidebook was right. This area of the Grand Canyon was secluded.
“Is it wrong for me to be so excited,” his wife said.
“I’m not sure,” the old man said.
“It’s just that we’ve been talking about coming back here for fifty-two years.” she said.
“I know,” he said as they hit a pot hole and bounced an inch above their seats. His wife laughed heartily. The old man watched as her eyes almost disappeared behind the broad brilliance of her smile. He wanted to smile back, but he didn’t know how.
“It’s alright to laugh,” she said, but this only induced his tears. Soon the canyon was upon them. The winding orange cliffs looked massive even from a distance.
The old man parked the car, and they all got out, including the hound. The old man delicately cradled the urn in both hands as they approached the canyon edge. The Colorado river, copper green, flowed below their feet.
“It’s even more beautiful than I remembered,” said his wife. The old man didn’t move. “It’s like being a part of history. Each layer claims a recorded period of time. When you release the ashes, they will settle a new layer.”
The old man dropped to his knees. His forehead was sweating profusely.
“It is time,” said his wife. “a breeze is coming. Do it now.” The old man felt no breeze, but he did as his wife instructed. The breeze did come, and it carried away her ashes, and her spirit.
This story was written by Alex Schattner (10:39am – 12:39pm, 7/11/12)