This desert landscape with its dry grass and few water sources never quite appealed to me. I grew up on a lush, tropical island where vibrant colors were seen year-round and the sweet smell of fragrant flowers filled the air after every rainfall. Rain happened often and during some seasons on a daily basis or for days on end. I've lived in Utah for over 20 years, mostly in the Rose Park/Westpointe area. Living in this dry heat summer and freezing cold, snowy winter for such a long time, you would think a person would get used to it. Maybe grow to love it. My heart has always longed to return to a tropical island, to put my hands in the soft, warm dirt, to feel the warm rain against my skin, to hear waves crashing along the shore during high tide. Instead, as I walk along the Jordan River, I hear the trickling of water. The croaking of frogs signal spring time. I can hear them from my window at night, calling to each other, silenced when someone passes by. Wings splashing water catches my attention. Two male ducks compete for dominance as the female floats, watching closely. All shades of brown scatter the landscape. Here and there I catch a glimpse of green, peeking through, winding its way into the sunshine. Natural vegetation sway in the breeze, its tan color contrasting with a bright blue sky. Sounds of nature drown out the modern city that lies just beyond the trees. Peace washes over me. I now understand the beauty that is the desert. The changing of the seasons? True wonders of the world from the bright fall colors to natures ice sculptures on bare branches. The summer heat encouraging child’s play to spring's promise of warmth and regrowth. My camera lens has been blessed by the tropics, spoiled by its beauty. But this time it found a new subject. One that my heart, once biased, used to see as plain and ugly, now sees as charming. The colors are there. I just had to dig deeper.
- Location: Jordan River Parkway
- Contributor: Lilieni Tago Tuitupou
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