Breanna Elise Jones
Advanced Expository Writing
ENGL 3433 01
“All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing praise to your name.”
This verse from Psalm 66:4 can be found inscribed on a plaque located at the top of the Desert View Watchtower in the Grand Canyon. These words testify to the awe-inspiring creativity of a
God who is able to create something so vast as the Grand Canyon. They’re also reminiscent of how I felt while touring the area in May 2011.
It is big. It is wide. It is too overwhelming for words. I am standing at the edge of a precipice, just two or three feet from a railing, wearing a jacket with my billed hat because, ...view middle of the document...
I wish I had the courage to try that; but even if I did, I wouldn’t. Mom would have had a heart attack. While peering over a railing into the canyon, I see several coins resting in a crevice. Just above it, a sign, ironically, asks visitors not to throw coins into the canyon for the safety of the birds in the area.
I have dreamed of seeing the Grand Canyon since I was eight years old. During the summer of that year, Dad and I traveled cross-country to see my brother. On the way home afterward, Dad had suggested stopping there; but the trip had already been very long and tiring, and we were ready to go home. So that’s what we did, without seeing the canyon. Years later, he, Mom, and I would go on another cross-country journey during another summer to see one of the great wonders of the world.
Two days earlier: We have been in this car for ages. We have traveled for what feels like thousands of miles. Our stops are frequent but not enough; they include restaurants and rest stops. Dad and I snap pictures at the visitors’ centers we come to after crossing a state border. Some of the pictures include signs: “Welcome to Mississippi, birthplace of America’s music”; “Tennessee, the stage is set for you.” We took other great pictures as well: the deserts of Texas, tipi-shaped tables in Oklahoma, and the Mississippi River in Tennessee.
It’s the day before we tour the Grand Canyon National Park. The weather of Flagstaff, Arizona doesn’t seem to realize it’s late May; it’s freezing here and when we left Florida we packed in preparation for unbelievably hot summer weather. Mom and I stop at Wal-Mart to buy jeans so our legs won’t freeze while we’re at the park the next day. As we check-out our items minutes later, Mom inquires of the girl at the register if it’s normal for Flagstaff to be cold this time of year. The girl tells us it wouldn’t be unusual for it to snow in June. As we exit the store, Mom says, “Wouldn’t it be awful if it snowed while we were here?”
Mom and I stand near the edge of one of the canyon’s cliffs, taking pictures and enjoying the amazing view. Dad, meanwhile, has chosen to make the arduous hike down the side of the canyon. Mom has warned me at least once not to get too close to the edge. I’m not worried.Though there isn’t a railing at this particular spot, I’m too careful to allow myself to get close enough to fall over the edge. Still, I can’t resist joking about it. “Just think,” I say, “later, when you find Dad, you would tell him, ‘Well, Breanna got a little too close to the edge and…well, let’s just say she’s an angel now.’ Mom laughs. Such a comment may be distasteful to some, but I have an interesting sense of humor. I enjoy making startling statements that shock people, and, hopefully, make them laugh; one Friday evening, my roommate and I were eating ice cream in a square somewhere in Lakeland, when my mother called. When she asked what we were doing, I, who have never even been to a bar, said “We’re living it...