Friends, within a few short days I think Utah has done something to me.

There’s something so wild and uncanny about the landscape here that really wends its way into your heart. I don’t know if it’s the dramatic red rock towers or the ubiquitous dust that is now permanently stuck in my hair, but there’s a part of me that I’m letting go of, and Utah is helping.

That part of me is perfectionism.

Home on the range 2

I’m under no delusions that I am perfect in any way, at least not in any conventional way. I’m well aware of my flaws, but there’s a part of me that still desires to be perfect. Or at least, the image of perfection.

But hanging out on a ranch leaves absolutely no room for this. The wind will unravel your hair and cover you with dust in no time. We’re constantly dirty, sweaty and somewhat out of breath, especially as we climb up these amazing red towers to get a bird’s-eye view of the muddy Colorado river.

Home on the range 1

We rode horses today, and my horse had a particularly strong taste for the shrubbery that somehow grows in this arid climate. If you’re looking for perfection you won’t find it in my horseback riding skills either. Nothing about the experience terrifies me more than a horse trotting downhill— I’ve ridden enough horses to know that they won’t fall, the question is, will I?

Home on the range 5

Thankfully no one tumbled off their horse today and eventually my horse decided it was done eating shrubs, so we were able to enjoy a few moments of uninterrupted quiet as we bumped along the bottom of Ida’s Gulch.

Home on the range 4

But despite my windswept hair and the horse slobber on my shirt, I experienced an immeasurable amount of bliss. I’m imperfect, but it doesn’t matter. All I had to do was stand in awe of the stunning earth that has heaved and breathed over hundreds of millions of years.

Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? The quintessential question for mankind’s hubris. My answer? I was definitely not here. No way. But I’m glad I’m here now.