Here I am, back in the good ol' US of A! When I flew in Wednesday evening, I was exhausted (going on 48 hours of no sleep!) and I'm surprised I lasted until 10 30 PM. Part of it was, I'm sure, the fact that I wanted to visit with my fam, and show them my London purchases :) The day after, we were on our way down to St George! I must say, it is good to see this again:
Today in church, someone made a comment to the effect of: "we live in one of the most beautiful places on earth." After a little thought, I have to say that I completely agree. The past seven weeks in the UK, I experienced another one of the most beautiful places on earth; there is so much green! I have never been in a place with so much green - even the huge city of London is dotted with dozens of gardens and parks, so much that it was easy to forget that I was in such a large city! The English countryside is lush and alive, and I'm sure it doesn't take much coaxing there to have a beautiful garden (unlike the desert!). However....
I love Southern Utah - I love the desert. I can't think of a place more opposite the UK - the color green definitely takes a back seat, becoming much more of an accent color! The red rock (so called... it's more like burnt orange) against the wide expanse of blue sky affords a unique vista unlike so many other beautiful places on earth. Now I sound like a travel guide :) or one of those commercials on TV, trying to convince people to come to Rhode Island or Nevada or Colorado because it's the best state ever! I have to say, I had to wonder during a tourist commercial for Nevada who in their right mind would ever take a vacation to Nevada? I mean, unless you like gambling, what else is there? (for those of you from Nevada, please feel free to correct me). Anyway, maybe my romanticized view of the desert comes from the fact that the desert is where I grew up - I have so many wonderful memories filled with sagebrush, lizards, and orangey-stained socks that used to be white.
A culmination of childhood memories collected under the Southern Utah sun branded me with an endearing, yet not often expressed attachment to the desert. Last summer, standing on top of a mountain in Zion National Park, I realized what I had always known: there is a part of my soul, epidermis-like in size, that can only be touched by the desert. Angels’ Landing, one of the tallest peaks in Zion, is a perfect location to see and appreciate the desert landscape stretching for miles and miles. The climb to the top of Angels’ Landing is no easy feat; the two and a half miles to the top appears menacing at best. Determined to tackle the beast, I put my right foot forward on the trail and started up. After I trudged up the seemingly endless switchbacks that make up the first part of the hike, I held fast to the chains anchored in the rock that provide a safe passage up the cliff. Finally, I stood windswept, enchanted, and three feet away from 1500 feet of down, down, down; and I understood that no matter where I go, the desert of Southern Utah will always be my home!
PS: now that I'm home from the UK and free from the yolk of school for the summer, I have big plans for posting much more often! I'm going to start by posting more pics from my UK trip, so be watching for that soon :)