Darkness blanketed us with sleepiness; I tried not to heed it. We got dressed and collected our things, started the car and drove to Arches as the sky lightened. Mom was grumbling because it was 6 am and she hadn’t had coffee. She said we would miss something but I was bundled up and ready. Whenever we saw something would be the right time.
We sped down the park road as the sky turned a dark blue and the stars faded. Pink strands of puffy clouds lined the sky and the rocks around us stood like peasants raising their hands up to the heavens waiting for a divine message. Them, as well as we.
We parked the car and jumped like freed inmates sneaking off to commit another crime.
Racing up the hill to where a patch of blue sky shone through a sandstone archway, a photographer steps out of the way as we run up the rocky slope. The opening of Entrada rocks is called North Window. We leap up it and behold!
The sky is alight with lightening blue as if spilled bright paint is leaking over the navy sky. The canyons are bathed in burnt orange light and topped with a pink sunrise hue that sets the cliffs to sparkling. Clouds of orange lace rim the collar of the fine lady who is the sky. Fine blue silk makes her flowing dress and her plaits of soft pink shine with condensed moisture. Her fine slippers are the towering cliffs of Utahs’ Canyonlands and the La Sal mountains, the hem of her robes.
We watch all this in awe. Laughing, joking, just to miniaturize the grandeur of this moment for our minds to comprehend. It seems like a piece of sky was cut by a child with scissors and fitted to the shape of the arch.
We dance around the trail from arch to window as the sun peaks her noble head up from the mountain tops. We find a rocky slope just down from Turret Arch and watch the glowing ember, called the sun, rise fully above the snow-topped peaks. The light slants down on rocks and bounces off the canyon walls and hits our faces.
This is sunrise.