Moab Sunrises and Metaphorical Downpours
by Alexa Francisco
Trip Log 1
This morning I not-so-gracefully rolled out of my sleeping bag, waking up as the only line of defense between myself and the rock we slept on last night was removed. As soon as the work week ended, we made a mad dash for Moab, seeking some much needed R&R from the daily routine.
Amidst my drunken slumber and sad attempt at tucking myself back in, I realized the sun was peeking out over the rocks. This might just be me, but, if you wake up in the middle of the desert and have the chance to witness its sunrise, you get your butt up. These moments always prove to be crucial for me. Every sunrise I become a part of ends up giving me new perspective on something. Location never seems to matter but in my opinion, there’s something extra special about the desert.
The first time I ventured into Moab was the first time I experienced love at first sight. The colors, the hikes, climbers scattered in various heights upon the rocks, the heat. A lot of the times all I can think about is when I get to come back, and I believe it’s because of this seemingly magical power it holds to clear my mind of useless chatter and allow important thoughts to enter my often stubborn brain. The kind of thoughts that may seem rather small but end up facilitating big changes in my day to day life. So, as I was watching the sun come up in one of my most favorite places to be, my partner still passed out on the aforementioned rock, I found myself musing about the chatter that can end up holding us back from focusing on the things that are really important to us.
I love that the sun is symbolic of new beginnings and resilience, and I love how nature always seems to provide a sweet visual representation of what’s going on with me internally. Right now, as I watch this sunrise, I’m experiencing many new beginnings. Some of these I find to be very intimidating, and I need to practice resilience when it comes to managing all these second thoughts that are mostly coming from a place of fear.
“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep.” -Rumi
The sun begins a new day without giving it a second thought. Rain or shine, it’s going to come up and more often than not it does so beautifully, but, here’s where we part ways. Even on rainy days, it rises. Humans do it a little differently. We might start a new day, new project, relationship, or job rather naturally, overflowing with inspiration to the point of barfing sunshine and rainbows all over anyone who walks by but, unlike the sun, we have second thoughts. And it’s often our second thoughts that we allow to rain all over our inspirational parade, and in doing so we are allowing it to prevent us from rising to our true potential. “True potential” to me means successfully using whatever gets you going as a means to create a life that at the end of the day leaves you absolutely and incredibly satiated.
As a writer, I often allow the blank page to become more than just rain on my parade. Sometimes, it’s the thunderstorm of my existence. I sit down to write at my favorite coffee shop, feeling passionately for my chosen subject, pull up the blank page fully prepared to see smoke billowing from my computer as my hands so quickly transfer my chaotic thoughts to internet paper. Yet, after staring at the blank page for a while, I end up convincing myself that I should go ahead and work on my more comfortable, steady gig that might pay my bills for the moment, but ultimately puts a cap on my potential and is by no means what I want to be doing forever.
What gives? My second thoughts. My personal, metaphorical downpour. Fear is my lightning, and it strikes hard. Voices of those who tell me I dream too big? Loud as thunder between my ears. The one I really don’t like to admit? Sometimes I’m just flat out lazy and hang around, making myself feel like I’m doing something. In reality, I’m the perfect portrayal of one of those grey days where the clouds won’t clear up and just sit there for hours. No one likes those days, especially and ironically, me.
This morning makes clear to me that lately, a little too often I’ve been letting the downpour get in the way of getting things done. As I’m sure everyone does sometimes, but that’s only an excuse you can get by on for so long. So, what’s there to do about it?
"Get out of your own way... stop the paralysis by analysis... dream your dream... then, wake up and bring it to life." - Dr. Steve Mariboli
For me, it means getting past my second thoughts in order to get past the blank page. For every thought I have coming from a place of fear, I’ll follow up with a thought I have coming from a place of passion. I will practice resilience, and choose to rise despite any impending rain. And I will continue to seek knowledge from nature because it provides me with much more than a sleeping bag full of dirt and a scenic view. I thoroughly enjoy both, but is that really all we’re searching for when we travel?
This has proven to be a good starting point, as I have just gotten past the blank page.
What’s your version of all this? If you don’t know, maybe you should consult a sunrise.
by Alexa Francisco
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