Guy Tal • Living The Life

Most people associate happiness with fleeting episodes of elation, but contentment is a sustained state, a goal to be pursued in its own right, regardless of any other purpose or outcome

Small storms meandered over the high desert as I made my way down a long unpaved road to a remote desert river. The occasional snow flurry gave way to a patch of blue sky, and whenever a long view presented itself, I stopped to watch cloud shadows sweep across the wild landscape. I was on my way to a little known canyon to spend a few days camping in solitude. The plan was to witness the emergence of spring, to wander in the warm glow of reflected light in narrow sandstone passages, to sleep in the open air under a star-filled night sky, to think deep thoughts and perhaps to make a couple of images, too. This was not a rare occurrence for me. On an average year I spend well over fifty nights camping alone in such places.

As I set up my camp on a lofty ledge above the river, I watched ravens perform aerobatic dances in the afternoon wind, listened to the warbling of a male meadowlark and delighted in the rich scents of riparian desert flora.

To say that I was happy may miss the point. Contentment may be a better word for it. Most people ...

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About Author


I am a full-time photographer, writer, and naturalist living and working in the Colorado Plateau – a scenic and diverse desert region of the western United States spanning an area larger than most countries and states.

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