Carlsbad Caverns is one of my sacred places. On my first visit it felt familiar to me. On my second visit it was like coming home. I love the descent into the cavern. I love the rich, dank air. I love the space that surrounds me as I walk down into the depths of a womb in the earth.
I am taken by the intricate detail found inside.
Bacon strips clinging to the wall
Draperies fit for a castle
A single delicate bell cord dangling from the ceiling
Pull it and who knows who you will summon.
I love the history. A lone man in the desert seeing the bats in the distance and following them. Reaching a spot where he felt a rush of air coming from an opening in the land. Hanging down into the hole and reaching the end of his rope. Dropping into a black abyss and discovering a wonderland that his eyes could not behold. I could spend hours, days, months, years or moments in this space and feel right at home. Sitting, staring, listening.
It is hard to grasp the scale. Features look gigantic and minute at the same time. A moment of complete darkness might last an eternity. Take the King’s Palace tour and experience this moment of pitch black that makes you ask, What if? What if I were trapped here with no light? Sooner or later one guest on the tour gets quite uncomfortable and asks for the lights to be turned back on.
The first day that Mike and I spent in the cave, we acted like tourists with the hand held talky wand. We barely spoke and when we did it was in hushed whispers. Silence fills the immense space and this place is timeless.
Air flows steady, temperature regulates, everything about this cavern is calm, serene, peace. The only noise is drip, drip, drip. Maybe the sound of shuffling feet and an occasional gasp, squeal or whisper from a visitor captivated by the life that still resides in this womb.