BY Sage Thee
It’s no secret Utah is beautiful, with our mountains and architecture and flora and fauna. But having been born and raised in the valley, sometimes you can get used to the wonders around you, and they lose some of their magic. So, I’ve spent the past few weeks exploring with a disposable camera and a scrapbook to press flowers as I used to when I was a kid, and I’ve fallen in love with Utah all over again.
When did I start rushing from one place to the next without stopping to appreciate the view? Growing up, I was taught to love the Earth just as much as I loved any member of my family. “Mother Nature” was, to me, an actual mother figure—a feeling that’s never left me; I just needed to find that magic again.
Did you know that Utah has dozens of native plants unique to our landscape that thrive in our unpredictable weather? I didn’t until I picked up a copy of Greg Gordon’s Landscape of Desire: Identity and Nature in Utah’s Canyon Country at Ken Sanders Rare Books and devoured it one afternoon at Liberty Park. You never realize how little you know about your state until you read a book by a visitor!
I’ve begun looking at my home state through the eyes of a visitor, for whom our wildflowers and trees and historic neighborhoods are an unfamiliar sight. It is heartbreakingly beautiful. In turn, small things feel more significant. The sun feels brighter; each rainstorm is a special gift just for me. It’s as if by opening up my heart and loving Utah, Utah loves me right back.