I had just crossed the empty stream-bed in Little Cottonwood Canyon and was making my way toward where I knew the trail was located…when I heard the sound of falling water. To the left of this little waterfall is where I found the moss and other tiny plant life that I featured in my post “Life on a Rock.”
I had visited the same area in the past and wasn’t aware of any other streams nearby…but the canyon was/is still full of things that I haven’t seen, little treasures tucked-away beneath wind-blown trees, lying in the shadows of whole and broken boulders of fallen granite, and ever-changing scenes of Nature’s drama of unfolding life and death. In my searching for the falling water, I had to go off-trail and deeper into the wild of the canyon forest. Amid the waking plant life and the blanket of the previous season’s fallen leaves, I found what appeared to be the skeleton of a deer or other medium-sized vertebrate.
A great mind once posited that matter can neither be created nor destroyed…it simply changes form…becomes something other than what it was as the result of some greater force acting upon it. As we find beauty in a decaying building, crumbling walls of barns and castles, trees whithering and rotting back into the forest floors of their cradles and graves, I believe we can find an equal beauty in the physical remains of a once living and breathing being as it returns to its elemental form where it will nourish the tiny creatures and plants that share its environment…for such is the stuff of life and death…regeneration…coming together in a new and other form….