Wednesday, May 29, 2024
spot_img
HomeDestinationsAngel's Landing Hike: How I Found The Spirit

Angel’s Landing Hike: How I Found The Spirit


Zion National Park & Angel’s Landing


by Kika Vila Nova

If you have heard about Utah’s Zion Canyon National Park, then you’ve definitely heard about Angel’s Landing hike. Sitting at a 5-mile round trip distance, the hike is deemed everything from amazing to challenging to dangerous to unforgettable.

I had the opportunity to reach the top of Angel’s Landing in April of 2016, and that hike meant more to me than I ever thought it would. When I reached the end point, I couldn’t help but burst into tears. I was confused…very confused. I wondered, “Why am I crying? What in the hell is wrong with me?” I was so overcome by emotion that at first, I couldn’t find its source, but I eventually searched myself in an effort to categorize my feelings, and the only word that came to mind was “spiritual”.


Angel's Landing

Let me give you some background:

I was born in a non-religious home in Recife, Brazil. My dad did not subscribe to organized religion and my mom, a social butterfly, would attend (and take us kids to) different meetings organized by different denominations. I was only baptized Catholic when I was nine because it was demanded by the private Catholic school I attended.

I grew up trying to understand religion, God, Jesus, and the unfairness of the world around me and it just… didn’t add up. “Why is my life a little better than the lives of those kids sleeping on the streets?” and “Does God not love homeless children?” are questions I constantly asked myself and never got answers to. The idea of a God who loves all his “children” while so much sadness still existed in the world didn’t make sense.

Fast forward to my late teens when I was struggling with depression and a desperate need to belong. I was visited by missionaries of a religion I will not name, was eventually baptized in that religion, did my own missionary service for a while, and remained a member for almost 20 years. I saw people who seemed happy there, and happy was what I really needed in my life.

But after years of historical research and feeling conflicted between what this religion preached versus what I felt is right and wrong in my core, I stopped going. This was about four years ago. Being ostracized and rejected by friends I had met through that religion was hard, and since I needed a distraction from that, and to occupy my Sundays, I turned to the outdoors.


Angel's Landing

In Utah, there is no shortage of beautiful canyons, parks, reservations, lakes, and waterfalls to explore. I found that while walking in nature I felt peace; I felt light; I felt belonging, and I felt a love that I believe every human being needs and deserves. Some say that you feel all that when you feel “The Spirit”, and for 20 years I was told – and really believed – that the only way to feel that was at church. And not any church, it had to be that one “true church.” I worried and wondered, whether or not I was going to miss out on that feeling for the rest of my life.

At the top of Angel’s Landing in April of 2016, I received my answer. And it was, “No, I won’t!” That burning inside that starts in your heart and takes over your entire body; that energy that’s impossible to describe in words; that love–so much love–that comes out in ugly cries.


Angel's Landing

On top of that hike, where Angels land, I felt that I didn’t need to be confined by 4 walls to feel that I belong. I do not have to subscribe to a specific religion to develop faith in accomplishing hard things nor to feel that I deserve the great things that come my way.

On top of Angel’s Landing, in April of 2016, overlooking the incredible beauty that is Zion Canyon, I felt The Spirit. And it was amazing!

DISCLAIMER: By writing this entry, I am not suggesting that organized religion is wrong for all. This is a personal experience.


Kika is a talkative Gemini who moved from Northeast Brazil to Utah 18 years ago and has a 9 (going on 19) year old daughter who is the love of her life. She shares her adventures in immigration, co-parenting, mental health, overall positivity and self-love on her Instagram account @kikassadventures


READ MORE

Please follow and like us:
Guest
Guest
We regularly host amazing women writers here on She Explores Life. Take some time to read their stories and learn more about their adventures. We welcome you to contact us if you would like to be featured as a guest writer.
RELATED ARTICLES
- Advertisment -

Most Popular