Five minutes before these photos were taken, I was about to pull out my hair. Maile wanted me to hold her. We were hiking up quite the incline, nearing the tallest point of the dunes at Great Sand Dunes National Park. She was making her displeasure with waking up in the hiking pack, on her dada's back, known by sobbing "Mama hoooold you, Mama hoooooold you ..." We were all sweaty and tired, and I felt a flash of angry words pop up into the back of my throat. Thankfully, I caught them there, and they never escaped my lips ...
I hope you know what I'm talking about.
And then, we were there. It didn't quite seem so much like the top of the world, as it did the top of some strange and distant land.
She picked up a handful of sand and let it go, grain by grain, flowing seamlessly into the wind that created the great dunes.
In that moment, even though I captured it on camera, I didn't know quite what to do. My heart stopped in my chest, and I just stared at her, wanting to scoop her up like the sand that so fascinated her, and never let her go. She was spellbound, yet so free. And that stitch in time, as all like it, made the frustrating five minutes before so worth it. It really did.