Complementing the alien beauty and spectacle of Toadstool is a profound peace, a stillness that belies the forces that have shaped it and will continue to shape it for eons to come. It’s the faint hum of permanence, a mere lull in the ponderous cycle and toil of sand and water and wind--those indifferent forces that are steadfast in their resolve to grind and rebuild the earth. It is easy to lose yourself in the scale of space and time when our typical human environment changes so fast--buildings erected and demolished and replaced in a single lifetime. Even the “natural” beauty to be encountered in the form of parks is a curated illusion of wilderness.
A place like Toadstool, whose layers are proof of change on a scale with which we cannot relate, a protracted, geologic version of impermanence, is a reminder of how insignificant and temporary we all are. It’s a place where I could not help but marvel at my own futility and be humbled by the grandiosity of the world, not in terms of its current state, but its vast history and future, of which we are a mere flutter of an eyelash.