When I was a child my parents dragged me and my brothers around the country once a year, every year for summer vacation. We whined, we complained, we learned, we had many a fun time and no matter how many fights I had with my brothers it was in the end, always a good time.
I remember going to Devil’s Tower as a child (I must have been 9 or 10 at the time) and my main disappointment was that there were no aliens. Once I realized there would be no aliens it was all just a let down from there. I think I spent the rest of the pouting and wanting to go back to the van so I could read my book. I was an obnoxious child, in case you were wondering.
Last year I went back to Devil’s Tower and it was totally awe inspiring. I understood the geology of its formation, knew more about the biology of the area and was completely fascinated by the native legends of the Tower. I’m not sure I really have words to describe how I felt standing at the base amid the rubble of boulders and ponderosa pine, it was the feeling of the numinous. The feeling that wells up from deep inside at the majesty of the universe around, of which you are a part, a tiny insignificant part. Self aware and contemplative.