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A Dream at Dream Lake

American West

This image from Dream Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado (United States) was captured at daybreak, with the iconic view of Hallett Peak on the left (south), and the rocky crags of Flattop Mountain on the right. Just below the saddle between the two mountains, and up in the next basin you see, is Emerald Lake, another amazing lake with an entirely different personality.

One of my favorite images, this photo was made right after an overnight early–season snowfall on a late September morning. Note the first tentative sunbeams of light dancing on the landscape as the storm slowly cleared, and the touch of blue sky that suddenly appeared above this most sublime part of the Continental Divide. The silence of the soft, unfrozen lake that morning contrasted eerily with the swirling winds above. This can be an unforgiving place, with long brutal winters and raging winds that last for days.

But not at this moment. To have been up there alone, as I was that morning – with only a pair of human eyes and a camera that could never hope to faithfully record the scene in all its glory – was to stand in awe in one of nature's greatest cathedrals.

I think of that moment, this scene, as a gift. Whether from God, from the Creator, from Providence, or from random circumstances or benevolent dumb luck, it's a gift I'll cherish for the rest of my life. Flannery O'Connor was right: everything that rises does converge. May you, dear reader, have many such gifts, and dream dreams of light that is all your own. Thanks for looking.

Dream Lake
Rocky Mountain National Park
United States

"The mountains are calling and I must go."

— John Muir