X is for Xenolith

I both dread and get excited about the “x” part of the challenge.  Dread because coming up with an “x” word is hard.  Get excited because it gives me a chance to learn new words.  I think “xenolith” is one of my favorites.

Xenolith: n. – (geology) a piece of rock of different origin from the igneous rock in which it is embedded

In case you don’t know what igneous is, it’s rock that’s formed from cooled lava.  I actually knew that because I’ve always kind of had a thing for rocks.

View from the South Rim Photo Credit: Doree Weller

View from the South Rim
Photo Credit: Doree Weller

The first thing this made me think of was the Grand Canyon.  I wondered, “Does the Grand Canyon have xenoliths, and can this be a way for me to talk about that amazing place?”

Yes, as a matter of fact, it does.  And I can.

Beyond the sheer coolness factor of the Grand Canyon, it’s a great place to learn about science.  When I stood at the top of the South Rim, I had trouble wrapping my mind around the sheer magnitude of the canyon.  It looked more like a movie set than something real.  The colors are amazing.  I took about a million photos there, but a picture doesn’t begin to capture the reality of it.

The park has Visitors’ Centers that illustrate the different layers and how they believe the canyon was formed.  It has a model of the different layers of rock, and how these layers formed.  It always amazes me when I can stand in places seeped in history.

According to the National Park Services website, the Grand Canyon is getting bigger.  The natural processes that formed the canyon continue to be in effect today.

One of the reasons I love places like this is that I can almost hear the echoes of the past.  Places like the Grand Canyon wake my brain up better than a dozen cups of coffee, and get my creative writing juices flowing.

What makes you feel your most creative or most alive?

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4 comments on “X is for Xenolith

  1. A. Catherine Noon says:

    That’s a really good question. It varies. I love being in nature and I agree with you, the Canyon is amazing. I took a writers retreat to Bryce Canyon three years ago and we had an awesome time doing pages on the rim, listening to the wind and two really talkative crows.

    I also find that music gets me going; I subscribe to Pandora through a gift from a friend and have many stations designed around different characters or projects. It’s a fun way to get into the “feel” of a story.

    Great post!

    • doreeweller says:

      That sounds like a wonderful writer’s retreat! I also have lots of playlists for writing time. Sometimes it amazes me what my characters are in the mood to listen to.

  2. lovetotrav says:

    A walk in nature always gets my creativity flowing.

  3. grazona says:

    Great post! What a great way to find a new word and relate it to something in your life. I did the same thing for my X post! I have had to use my writing books to get x, y and z letters! I think it’s cool that you and I both found X words to let us write about a place that inspires us!

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