It was 2011, and my husband and I were on a spring break road trip to the Black Hills in South Dakota. Late March/early April is not exactly the busy season in those parts, and we had a lot of the attractions to ourselves (and super cheap hotel rates too!). We were staying in the southern part of the Hills, in a town called Hot Springs, and that is closer to Wind Cave National Park than it is to the iconic spires and needles of Custer State Park.
One evening, after we had had dinner in town, a small, spring storm was brewing on the horizon, so we headed through the grasslands of Wind Cave to see what we could find. We passed herds of elk, a few bison, a colony or two of prairie dogs, and we came to this nice little spot where we could hike around and just kind of take in the space and the changing weather.
The storm as it blew in (and eventually over) was incredible. The blues and greys of the sky contrasted with the gold of the still dormant grasses and the dark greens of the pines around. We stayed, perched on a little rise as these big clouds moved around us, and talked about chasing the light. Things seemed to be dying down, so we headed back to the car to go back to town.
As we were leaving, though, the sunset all of a sudden completely lit up the sky, blazing it with the most amazing pinks, purples, blues and tinges of orange that I think I’ve ever seen. My husband, without even asking me, slammed the car over on the side of the road and we both jumped out, me with my camera in hand, and raced up this little rise. I took a few shots, but when looking at my images when we got back to the hotel, this one jumped off my screen, and straight into my chest. I love this photo so much. I think it’s really quite lovely, but I also see it and remember this really special moment of connection with me and my husband and how we let, for this one little moment, the light guide us, both of us.
I’ve been keeping my eyes and my heart open for years now, waiting for another moment like this one to show up, but so far, not quite the same luck. It’s something I’ll keep chasing, though, because I know that when that intangible something is there, it’s complete and utter magic.
All the best,