Moments of Peace

I needed a few hours of quiet and peace, to aerate my brain and get away from the madness of the news cycle that’s been so hard to avoid recently. An afternoon hike in the Laguna Mountains seemed just right, and I knew exactly where I wanted to be – a secluded little meadow on the upper part of the Sunset Trail that has long been a favorite.

On the way there I saw lots of aggressive driving. It seems that a lot of people are about ready to explode, and I was glad to leave the interstate. Along Sunrise Highway, the Black Oaks had beautiful fall colors – it was probably a week or so past their peak, but backlit by the low afternoon sun this time of the year, they still all looked quite beautiful.

To my surprise, along the road and then also along the trail, some patches of old snow had survived in the shade, despite the warmer weather we had after the first winter storm of the season, early in November. A few mountain bikers passed me while I was on the way to the upper end of the Laguna Meadows, and then it seemed like I had the place all to myself. It was wonderful.

I continued onto the Sunset Trail, enjoyed the views to Garnet Peak from a little rocky lookout, and proceeded to “my” little meadow. I wandered around and looked. Sat on some rocks and looked. Wandered around a little more, looked a little more, took an inventory of the photographic opportunities that I saw. As the sun disappeared behind the little ridge to the west, in the absence of direct sunlight, the gentle colors came out and I began to collect the treasures. It was immensely satisfying.

I walked back as darkness grew, knowing that this feeling of peace wouldn’t last once I’d merge onto the freeway again…

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Next: Mo’ Mud (Palisades)

6 thoughts on “Moments of Peace”

  1. I love this, Alex. I’m there with you. I have a meadow of sorts too, where before, I could almost always be guaranteed some alone time. Since COVID I see other people there more often. Still, it’s not bad at all and the point is, I know what you mean by the importance of these intimate spaces in our lives, especially now. The colors in the bunchgrass are gorgeous…I love the fallen oak…”Autumn Embers” is titled so well…the first composition is beautiful, with those flowing lines, interesting textures and nice color combinations. :-)

  2. Beautiful images to go with memories of beautiful moments. It’s nice when we have these calming places and the time to visit them. The closest I can think of here are the times I can find a large enough section of rock in a stream to sit alone, watching the water flow around me, its sound almost drowning out those of passersby.

    • Sitting on some rocks in a stream sounds pretty nice and very meditative to me! This meadow isn’t very close, unfortunately – a 1.5 hours drive from our home. Closer here it’s a bit harder to find a place of true silence and solitude for me as well.

  3. I remember when I first started going up to Laguna and Sunrise Highway. I’d have a very calm and relaxing day but the closer I got to home; the highways, traffic, idiots, congestion, the tighter my grip on the steering wheel became.


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