- ELISABETH BRENTANO
JUST AS I REMEMBERED...
I was 6 or 7 the first time I saw the Grand Canyon. I was probably more focused on getting my parents to stop yelling at each other than I was on the magnificently-lit strata before me, but I remember it all. (Mom and Dad, I love you both, but you really should have gotten that divorce a lot sooner than you did...)
Anyway, despite the squabbling and bad 80s fashion, both of which were on full display in our family photos from that trip, I did have an appreciation for the scale of the place. I remember peering over the edge at one of the viewpoints and feeling dizzy. I quickly backed away, but then crept right back up the stone wall and stared at it again. I was scared, but entranced by how something like this could make me feel so tiny and powerless. My dad snapped a photo of my mom and I. She was wearing a belted beige peacoat and I was wearing a pink jacket with a plaid lining. She held on tight to me, and she wasn't really smiling.
When I came back here last week, I wasn't really smiling either. I was battling a nasty head cold, and I was crusty, freezing and miserable. The wind was so strong, it was stealing people's hats, which was actually kind of a funny thing to watch. I inwardly laughed as I pulled my hood up over my head. Sorry. Not sorry. I hate hats. They look ridiculous on me.
So here I was, once again, wowed by the depths of the earth. Dozens of clouds littered the horizon and glowed pink as the sun dropped, but I wasn't interested in shooting that. I turned 45 degrees to the left and zoomed in on the canyon walls catching the last rays of of the day. It was a perfect gradient of brown, gold and pastel purple, and I couldn't get enough of these dreamy tones. This place was just as grand and gorgeous as I remembered, and though I could have done without the wind and constant sniffling, there's always going to be something, right? Look at what you have. All of it. Appreciate the little things, and when you're somewhere like this, let the good outweigh the bad. That's what you want to remember, right?