Almost four hours from Sedona is a lake that formed when the Glen Canyon Dam was built in 1963. This crystal blue lake, Lake Powell, hugs the walls of Glen Canyon, formed by layers of rock and sediment over millions of years. One of the most famous landmarks of this large lake system is Rainbow Bridge, the world’s largest natural arch. I’ve visited this arch several times, and each time it’s made such an impression on me that I wrote the following poem about it and Sedona.
Sedona and Lake Powell, Wonder of the Cosmos
I am here at Rainbow Bridge on Lake Powell
Where the wonder of the Earth lives and breathes.
Where even the sun and moon are not allowed to linger
Where the pristine beauty of the Earth is preserved.
Here, where one can feel the healthy breath of the 21st century Earth,
A final unknown world hidden by the Earth.
This is where we are now.
Where we watch with anguish and sorrow in our hearts
as the Earth is becoming increasingly afflicted and destroyed,
A Native American sacred ground,
This is Rainbow Bridge, where the Colorado River flows.
Cutting across the desert, the Colorado River flows serenely,
Revealing Earth’s intimate layers,
A place that shows the flow of ten thousand years, one hundred thousand years, tens of millions of years, billions of years of history.
The moonlight shining on the Colorado River at night is more beautiful still.
Here, one can feel the Earth,
And here, all people can become one with Heaven and Earth and the sea.
Everyone who comes here becomes an Earth Human.
Here, we seek to establish the Earth Human dream,
An Earth Village.
History says that until now, history has been an incomplete history.
The completion of history lies in the construction of an Earth Village
That can achieve peace for humanity.
The deep secret hidden in the Earth
Opens the door and whispers to us
That if we continue in this way, the Earth does not have much life left.
All this time, the Earth has been giving birth to humans and nurturing them.
That is why we call this Earth Chunjibumo.
Now, Chunjibumo are calling to us.
My son, my daughter!
Save the Earth.
Through a cultural Olympics, through the spiritual UN,
Let them know Chunjibumo properly.
Those who know Chunjibumo are Earth Humans.
This Earth is the mother and father of Earth Humans.
Our mother and our father have become ill.
Would it not be natural for us to repay the infinite grace we have received?
If we do not repay that grace, we are repaying grace with betrayal.
O, all humankind!
Let us know Chunjibumo properly and let us show them our care and devotion
And let us love the Earth and love humanity.
Through a cultural Olympics, through a spiritual UN, let us overcome the folly of human beings.
The divinity within us weeps with profound grief and piercing agony.
Let us all listen to the voice of divinity.
Where one can hear the sounds of divinity,
That is Sedona and Rainbow Bridge on Lake Powell.
Let us go to Sedona, you and I,
And let us welcome Lake Powell’s Rainbow Bridge with our hearts.
And there, let us declare that we are Earth Humans.
[Editor’s Note: Chunjibumo means Heaven and Earth as Father and Mother respectively. In the poem, Ilchi Lee says the “Earth is the father and mother of Earth Humans.” Often in Korean, the term Earth can represent what is otherwise referred to as Heaven and Earth, or the invisible (Heaven) and visible (Earth) aspects of the planet and the universe. Like parents, they create and care for humanity, and in turn it is humanity’s responsibility to care for them.]