Spirals upon spirals upon spirals.
That’s what filled up Antelope Canyon, a slot canyon in Arizona. Water had rushed through, carving a swerving, graceful path of twists and turns that went on for hours of walking. Over millions of years, the rock had worn away, and the water had receded, making the perfect display of the strength of rivers.
That was just a piece of my trip into the Four Corners states (Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, and Nevada). Before this spring break, I’d never gone anywhere except for Colorado, and I had never seen the deserts of the Midwest or the number of incredible canyons present there.
But from Bryce Canyon to the Grand Canyon, from massive and incredibly varied rock formation after rock formation, I began to see the world differently. All of my life in the U.S., I’ve lived in suburban areas, surrounded by concrete and ease of accessibility. But from hotel to hotel, with three-hour stretches of desert driving, without another soul on the road, I got a sense for how big the world is.
And let me tell you, it changes how you see things. Standing on the precipice of one of the biggest canyons in the world makes you feel small. The untold scale shocks you, and the unbelievable variety of what you can see in nature is just… Astounding! From patterns of yellow to bright orange, to rocky slopes topped in snow and coniferous trees, to gleaming formations of fire-colored rock — the marvelousness of nature is unparalleled, and to begin to describe the enormity of nature is an almost impossible task.
But that’s just the thing about experiences beyond words. They’re the true memories we will always have. While I know I can never share my love of the canyons of the Midwest with people and have it resonate with them to the same extent, I know that what I saw will stick with me forever. As Honors students, we get an incredible set of faculty, friends, and chances to explore the beauty of the world, both man-made and natural. But as Honors students, we also have an obligation to explore the things in the world that we can’t really capture with words and can only capture with rapture and awe.
So the next time you get the chance to explore the world, take it. Live in a world where everything amazes you. Don’t be afraid to see the world to its fullest extent, and if you don’t have words to describe what you take in, take it as a good sign!
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