Valley Spirit

Valley Spirit

The spring day was still in the valley; the distant storm clouds seemed to be more of a tease than an actual promise, despite their best efforts to appear ominous. Not many creatures were stirring, although few creatures stirred on any given day here. The solitude of the sands remained undisturbed.

Except, that is, for the sound of hoofs, with the accompanying gentle nicker, of the horses. Closer and closer they came; before long the line of galloping horses crossed the valley floor as they quickly made their way to their chosen destination. Leaving a small trail of dust behind them, they were running free, running wild, and running for the sheer joy of it. Manes and tails flowing out behind them, they tore across the valley floor, racing each other. Well before I was ready for them to be gone, the sounds of the hoofs faded into the distance, the sands settled down, and the stillness returned to the day.

Monument Valley is an iconic location, representing the American West in countless movies and photographs. The towering buttes, jutting abruptly from the desert flow, provide a stark contrast of texture and height, and form the valley itself. Yet it is the horses, running wild and free, that represent the spirit and essence of the valley. It is also, without a doubt, one of my favorite places of all time. I am familiar with its nooks and crannies, from the crowded popular spots to the out of the way corners that few know about or visit. I have seen the valley at its best, and I have seen it looking drab and dreary. I know its moods well. Yet, as I watched the horses running against the vastness of the monuments, I immediately knew that the valley was showing its true spirit, and this vignette was mine alone.

As I look back at this photograph, I can feel the spirit and emotion of that moment. I hope that feeling comes to you as well, and you can hear as I did the horses and they made their journey. And I hope that your spirit runs free, through the valley and beyond.

Enjoy the valley

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