Monday, April 24, 2006

Utah's Beauty

Since leaving the Mormons, I've had to really try to see the good in this community in which I live. If I don't consciously seek beauty, I'll get trapped in the mudpit of Mormon superficiality and its saturation of the culture.

This past Saturday, my husband and I went on a hike with some local exmo friends. We took a trail from Spanish Fork Canyon, and hiked to Fifth Water Hot Springs. The mountains at this time of year are still covered in snow, but there wasn't much on the trail. The river was roaring next to us the whole time, and the smell of sulpher was sometimes too much for me.

When I was hiking (and listening to my MP3 player) and as I looked at the towering trees and peaks around me, I felt worlds apart from the Mormons. I felt free and happy and excited about life. The still small voice--you know, the one that tells you you're not good enough--was nowhere to be found. Because of this, I was reminded of a time long ago when I felt that same feeling. (don't continue to read if you're related to me!) One time, while at girls camp, my friends and I decided to ditch one of the activities and go hiking up the mountain a bit. When we were up there we found a nice green meadow with several big, flat rocks scattered around. We thought it would be fun to go naked-tanning. So we did! No guilt, no shame, just fun. It was so warm! The rocks warmed our backs, and the sun warmed our fronts. That's one of only a handful of times I let myself be so vulnerable, and I was greatly surprised to not get hurt.

Utah is a really beautiful place, and the weather is great here. I need to get out of the valley more, and into the wild!


Joseph's Left One said...

I miss the mountains (and even those stinky hot springs). I don't think I appreciated Utah's beauty until I left.

Rebecca said...

It can be really pretty, especially in the spring (PS- I'm never sure if the seasons are supposed to be capitalized or not).

Sideon said...

What an awesome story. Ditching to go naked tanning :) Awesome.

I've been up to some hot springs up near Provo - I think they were called "Diamond Fork"? I don't remember since, it was probably 15 years ago. The best part for me was going up on a weekday - usually only locals or hardcore hikers were up there. The etiquette there was pretty tolerant to nudity - in fact, the only time I ever saw anyone with clothes was when a scout troup came through.


La said...

Ya this was up Diamond Fork canyon. The trail was called Three Forks (or something).

It wasn't quite spring yet in the mountains. The trees were bare, and it seemed more like fall. But it was still amazing!

Montgomery Q said...

AAAAHHH!!!!my minds eye!

I went up there at night with a girl named Karen. I need to go again sometime.

DFB said...

Okay, that just replaced the great whale in my nightmares... Garrr..

C.L. Hanson said...

Naked tanning, what fun!!!

I actually liked LDS girls' camp, but like you most of my best memories of it involved ditching the planned activities... ;^)

La said...

My brothers are neat. It's like I didn't give them warning...oh WAIT, yes I did. Jerks.