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The Color of Rock

For the second time that morning, Abby resisted the urge to swerve from her jogging path and cross the road, to cut through the sun-spattered woods and follow the deep pull of gravity she felt from the canyon, to go gaze again into those burnished depths, those shattered cliffs. She reminded herself that the canyon wasn't going anywhere and there would be plenty of time once she was settled to ponder those elaborate layers, sliced open like the most astonishing confection ever fabricated. The incense of pine filled the air, and the soft slapping rhythm of her sneakers steadied her mind.


Starting over was no small thing.


Starting over after nearly losing yourself, even more.


Early light splashed her face through the trees as she reviewed her relaxation mantras. There would be no room for anxiety today. Breathe deep, and capture the day.


Abby moved past the campground as tourists began to rise, the fragrance of coffee and bacon drifting through the woods. Glancing over, she imagined who might show up in her clinic that morning. That paunchy middle-aged man, struggling to lift an overloaded ice chest into his truck, was at risk for a bad back strain. That older woman, hunched at her picnic table sucking on a cigarette, had the gray complexion of a heart patient, and this altitude could easily trigger her angina.


No distractions, she chided herself.