"A Dance With The Delicate Arch"
A Visual, Written, and Recorded Story by Danielle Hanusek: Click Here To Listen on YouTube
A cool breeze fights its way through the dry desert heat and stops my mind and body instantly.
I feel dizzy, not sure which way is up or down. It's a perfect day for hiking as slowly or as fast as I want. But on these rocky trails, I push harder with each step as we ascend to the Delicate Arch. Thank god for that breeze. It's the only thing my senses can relate to here.
On this mile-and-a-half hike, I'm reminded to relax as my heart beats faster 4,000 feet above sea level. Though I've climbed higher and further before, there's a definite sense of danger here, with so much more for my attention to grab onto. To describe what I see as a view, would be an understatement at the very least.
After over an hour of climbing with my hands and feet, I don't even know if I'm on Earth anymore. I stop again, try to breathe deeply, and search for the horizon.
Everything is blanketed with mile-high, dusty red rocks that defy gravity and force me to contemplate reality. I lean into the closest one. With nothing t hold on to, I melt into it as I begin sliding down its flat face, hoping I won't defy gravity too.
That's when I hear the birds, then realize they are soaring below me. Before I can grab my bearings, my heart drops into the canyon below, my eyes narrowing in on a new perspective of the Arch. Immediately, I am blinded by the burst and my instinct is to drawback.
Back against the rock, I feel like my eyes are deceiving me as search again for something to focus on. Something to make sense of. The fear of falling, makes my whole body shake and I remember again to breathe, just feel. But there's no edge, no cliff, no. nothing.
But I have to get this shot!
The dance with death continues as I slowly reach for my camera. Am I floating?
Am I still here? I don't feel the ground. My heart pounds as I search for stillness with nothing to grab onto, I wish could just lean out a little further.