Arcosanti Sunrise

By: Katelyn Barbour

Although I wasn’t gone for an entire semester or the duration of my summer, and I didn’t travel thousands of miles or cross any oceans to experience an environment where the language was not my own, my time in the small experimental town known as Arcosanti was one of the most eye opening and rewarding trips I have ever been on. Out of everything that happened over those 10 impactful but short days, there is one memory that I will remember and cherish forever.

On the second day of our trip, barely acquainted with each other yet or with the landscape of this unknown environment of Arcosanti, we as a group, woke up at 6:00 a.m. We got up well before class, before breakfast, and even before daylight, so that we could hike our way up the mesa that faced the front of Arcosanti and watch the sun rise. We hiked down the trail that led us up steep rocks to the very top. We did this in the dark, using our flashlights and each other as guides, as we all made our way up to the
edge of the mesa. We each found rocks to sit on while we waited in silence as the sun began to rise.

Silence is often said to be something that shows comfortability among people. The ability to share silence is more powerful than the ability to share a conversation. But all of us strangers peacefully sat in silence the entire time, as we watched the dark turn to light as the clouds faded from pink to white and the sky turned orange to blue. It wasn’t until the sun finally tipped over the clouds that rested above the mountains, that we came back to each other to talk and share the beauty of it all. As simple as this moment seemed, it meant so much to me that through the hustle and bustle of our mediated lives that we have all become so accustomed to, we as strangers were able to surrender ourselves to the simplistic beauty of the nature around us, and to each other.

For that reason, I was so moved by this experience and thankful to have gotten to share it with a group of people that soon became my friends. This moment felt like the spark that started us on what became an illuminating trip. We all walked together back down the Mesa in this light this time, and joined together as a group for breakfast, and for the remainder of our unforgettable trip.