My Trip to Zion National Park, October, 2016.
Having lived on the east coast my whole life, there aren’t many places I’ve seen that are untouched by our human existence. Sure, off the beaten path you may find a unique vista and feel alone with nature — who’s softly patting you on the back saying, “It’s nice to see you, too.” But, it all seems so familiar, and almost predictable. That is not to say that I take my own backyard for granted. No, I embrace it. I love exploring and taking the opportunity to rejuvenate within this habitat I call home.
Your surroundings become you, it’s a part of who you think you are. A New Englander, for some. A beach person, maybe. To abandon what you know and embark on the unknown, is what makes many of us stronger. But, having understood that your surroundings can be so predictable and familiar, how could the notion of something so different be enticing? How could one have felt optimistic of survival in a land unknown, again?
Just imagine for a moment that you existed two hundred years ago. Your family having just arrived from Europe, leaving your home on the east coast must have been a frightening experience, especially since you weren’t sure how far it was or how long it would take to reach the western part of our continent. With troubles along the way, best illustrated by the computer game Oregon Trail, it is amazing how so many people did continue and complete the journey.
Well, this land out ours, it is majestic. It is captivating. It is, almost, overwhelming.
The rock and sky of the western side of North America is unique. Like nothing I had ever seen before, every time I opened my eyes to my surroundings I was awestruck. The antiquity on the face of those rocks made me feel small, and very insignificant. The undeniable strength of the earth below us and the water that once flowed through those canyons, and the winds that can carve stone, makes me feel like the flame we claim as our oldest form of power is only a moment we seek to feel significant — but that feeling dies out quickly under the breath of the Earth around us.