This past week, six friends and I set out to trek into the wilderness of Moab, Utah, an area famous for its vibrant and expansive scenery. It was a hiker’s paradise. The beginning of the trip found us hiking into the Needles District, dotted with amber red spires of rock and dark gaping crevasses. During much of our hike I felt as though we were backpacking into some other world, like the surface of Mars from the recent movie, The Martian. At dusk we dragged our feet into the designated camp spot to realize one of the members of our group had left her cell phone at a lunch spot about 5 miles away. Initially I was slightly intimidated at the notion of jogging ten miles to retrieve the device, but that soon faded as the jog began. The sun had just sunk below the horizon, giving the landscape a muted orange hue which quickly gave way to a darkness illuminated by the shockingly bright moon. After the surprisingly easy jog we found the phone. Silence surrounded us while we rested before heading back. Not a hint of civilization was to be seen. I was truly amazed by the pervasive stillness. All around us the air seemed dense with it. The quiet to me was restorative. It cleared my senses and allowed me to be present.

We live in a noise-filled world. Every day we’re bombarded with schedules and agendas and if we don’t take a moment, stress soon sets in. It certainly has for me this past semester. In many seasons of our lives, stillness seems a distant friend. In all this chaos, I urge you to take a moment and find a place where you can be still. It’s good for you.

Ben Loftin pointing to civilization (or some wildlife) on the third day of our trip. We were all pretty tired at this point.



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