I sat on top of the mountain and cried heavy tears.
I hiked a little over seven miles in total and moved at my own pace throughout the trails. It was serene. I would climb to the top of a mountain, gaze into the canyons, and then dangle my legs off the cliff. I had my wireless bluetooth speakers in my ear – and I would listen to Bethany Dillon’s “Hallelujah” for twenty minutes straight. Alone. By myself. No judgement.
I came to this place to revive my spirit. I was lost. I sometimes get lost in the static of our technological world. The pace we move at, the social media buzz, the desire to portray a perfect life (that isn’t that perfect), and the inability to admit vulnerability in today’s present time and place… I feel closest to God when I leave all of that behind. I feel the most revived when I am in his space and creation. I hear my voice the clearest when I am in this solitude.
Day 2: It was about 48 degrees when I left my hotel and started driving to the Valley of Fire. It sprinkled, then rained, and as I drew closer to the canyon – a light snowfall. By the time I arrived, in the park, it was 50 degrees – the rain had stopped and there was no snow except the ones that laid its footprint in another canyon (see picture).
I was perplexed. The weather was 40 degrees below what I anticipated. I stumbled out of my car and felt the cold wind whisper to me. The air was clean, nothing like the day before, and I was in the peace and quiet of the world. I could hear the birds singing, smell the fresh rainfall on the earth, and could feel the clay like dirt beneath my feet.
“Where do I begin?”
I took the map, looked at it for a few minutes, and basically said I would try it all. As many trails as my body could handle – knowing I would be driving seven hours home later.
I never felt alone, oddly. Even as I set up my tripod to capture these photos – I never felt alone. It’s strange. I was nervous that I would be judged by others but actually …. once I arrived to the Valley of Fire, I felt at peace. There are no words to describe being on top of a canyon, by yourself, marveling the beauty of the earth, with the wind speaking to your soul… It’s nostalgic. I have never felt anything like it in my life. No, I was not high or drunk, I was absolutely sober – and still can not put into words this experience.
There was a point on the ‘Arrowhead Trail’ where a group of late twenty year olds (?) noticed I was hiking alone. They asked if I wanted to join them, so they could keep me company, I suppose. I politely declined. I informed them I traveled seven hours, through a storm, so that I could be here … in this place … by myself. They looked at me in a puzzled state and we bid farewell.
You see. I came here to speak to God and to listen to Him only. To ask for guidance. To heal my hurt. I didn’t need the outside world infiltrating what I had come to seek. Sometimes temptation comes in vast forms: loneliness, storms, snow, rain, humans. I was a woman on a mission… I was exactly where I needed to be.
I am exactly where I need to be.
**All photos were taken and belong to me.