By Kieran Hadley, TCA Senior.
Simplicity is beautiful. Sometimes in life we take simplicity for granted and find it boring or mundane. But when it really comes down to it, nothing is truly simple. Even things that seem basic and unembellished are very complicated and layered if you zoom in or out enough. For example, the seemingly barren desert of Central Utah doesn’t sound like your typical definition of beautiful. And maybe it isn’t, not at first. When you look a little closer, however, you can see the amazingly unassuming beauty of the area.
Looking out across the panorama of dust-colored wasteland before me, I am enchanted by the sense of nostalgia it brings forth in my mind. Memories of running across huge sand dunes with the ocean crashing nearby, of hiking through a confining slot canyon with the evening light waning away, and of a warm summer breeze carrying the scent of pine trees and lake water; they are all synthesized by the view I am experiencing. You are probably asking at this point, “What do those memories have to do with the Utah desert?” to which the answer would be: adventure. The incredible openness of this desert inspires in me a crashing wave of adventure, a yearning to go out and explore and to take in every aspect of nature. As the setting sun paints the rocky ridges surrounding me a beautiful shade of gold, I am intoxicated with the idea of journeying across the open plains and mesas to find myself in the blue-tinted mountains lining the horizon.
Clouds stretch across the sky like long fingers trying to escape the sunset. The canyon walls that nearly box in my entire field of vision seem all the more impressive when contrasted with the pink and turquoise sky behind them, as their infinite sedimentary layers are lost in a dark shade of purple.
I reel in my perspective slightly to focus on the ground in front of me. As I shift my attention, I try to pick out the little details that are often taken for granted. Little plants poke out from in between rocks, and dark green juniper trees can be seen in any direction. Rocks lie everywhere, strewn across the beige soil as if thrown there by some giant hand. Cacti and other succulents lie low, pretty yet dangerous. A jackrabbit runs through the sagebrush as I approach, leaving tiny footprints in its wake. Then the sun dips below the horizon, and the entire vista is thrown under a bluish lens.
A cool breeze flows around me as the temperature begins to drop rapidly. Soon it will be completely dark, and the entire scene will be replaced by thousands of stars, broken up by the silver slice of the moon, to create another simple yet exquisitely beautiful scene.