unnamed-5I slid out the door in plenty of time to arrive long before sunset. I had to stake out my perfect spot to shoot. I left the kids with John, watching the only DVD in the cabin we resided, “Big.” The dirty dishes filled the sink and even though I was exhausted, I was so motivated. I wanted to see the tufa towers at sunset over Mono Lake. After all, beauty really is more radiant with time and these towers can prove that in an instant.

I drove the dirt trail to the edge of the lake, perched on a sweet spot with cameras in both hands and waited for the light to dust the towers in-depth and obscurity. It wasn’t long for me to realize I was at the wrong side of the lake and the towers, they weren’t even visible! With eight minutes until sunset, there was no way to make it to the “right” location on time. So I dropped my camera bag, found a Mesa-like rock and just took in the strong quiet of one of the world’s most salt heavy lakes. The wind was pushing hard to the West, which is ironically where I drove. The birds seemed challenged to land on the water and I well, I was just watching and listening. I was too tired to relocate or do anything else and fairly disappointed in myself for botching the location.

Then, the sky opened and the sunset lit up more brilliantly than the 4th of July.

I didn’t make it to what I thought was my destination. What could be more incredible than a pink-lit sunset draped over thousand-year old mineral towers? How could I have missed my opportunity?!

Be here. It’s where I was supposed to be. My place was absolutely reached. I expected something different. I had pigeonholed my destination altogether.

On top of it all, I had almost gone home.

Here’s what I caught from exactly where I was:

The mountains dampened to a shade of rich plum, rocks glimmered in all shades metallic.

The sky just wanted to be the boss.

All colors remotely possible blended together to make for such a powerful wonder above.

And then there was the water. Where despite the fury of the wind, water was intent on absorbing what the sky rained down.

It was like watching a monster Easter egg-dying festival.

The water rippled with energy, vibrance, lustrous colors and texture. I couldn’t blink.

I have spent some serious time creating expectations for myself. I have made plans for places I think I should be. Routes for destinations I thought I should travel. Expectations for places where I finally arrived.

What I would have missed if I made it to the tufas.

We are exactly where we need to be when we need to be there. We don’t have to look for a new destination or follow the guide-book to someone else’s. We just have to be here. And breath in the beauty that we have arrived. Wherever that place may be.

Focal Point… Mono Lake is surrounded by incredible beauty. One of my favorite elements of visiting this salty lake is the nearby town, June Mountain.  It’s located between Mammoth and Yosemite and truly is a little slice of heaven.  Nick-named, “Little Switzerland”, it’s endearing qualities are too many to list.

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