This shot is a wonderful reminder of one of my proudest moments, I was on my own traveling through the American southwest and I'd never felt so free and alive.There were times though where I'd been nervous, even a little scared but the overwhelming sense of excitement soon put all other emotions to rest. I'd already guided myself halfway through Colorado and into Utah and I was ready for my next adventure on foot.
I'd parked the car on the side of the road and set off on an unmarked trail, following the natural lay of the land down through a gully and over the rim of the canyon and further into unknown territory.
I knew where I wanted to be but not really sure how or even when I was going to get there, it was all part of the adventure of traveling somewhere I'd never been all by myself... with the exception of the ravens, the significance of which I would realize much later.
I was in a remote area of Canyonlands, deep in Pueblo Indian land searching for an ancient archeological site hidden in a cave, out of sight from all but those who go searching.It wasn't until I was within arm's reach that I realized I had found what I was looking for, and why this was used by the native Indians as a shelter/retreat. Unless you were looking for it or knew it was there, I doubt you'd be able to find it.
The view is stunning, sitting at the back of the cave gazing out over the desert is like nothing else I've witnessed. What made it even more special was that it was dead still, there was not a breath of wind and not single other person for miles around. I must have sat there for about 2 hours just sitting and thinking, free from every possible distraction and it could not have been any more beautiful.
After I returned home and started looking through the hundreds of photos there was something that kept catching my eye, It was something I had noticed at the time but had brushed off as a meaningless event... there was more often than not, a raven nearby.
As it always does, curiosity got the better of me and I began researching the significance of the raven in Native American culture and it was at that moment everything made sense.
The Native Americans believe that the Raven is a master of bending time and space so that when he visits you he is tell you that you are now in exactly the right moment at exactly the right time (perfect for a traveling photographer) and that magic is imminent.
After discovering all of this it just seemed so fitting, everywhere I had been (and would go on to travel to) I always happened to be there at the perfect time and place to witness and photograph an amazing spectacle of nature. I found all of this so strange that I felt like it was nothing but a coincidence, that was until I kept researching.
It turns out the Raven is also my totem animal (as determined by when you are born in the year) this defines a playful and creative person, one that has no fear of the dark or the underworld and understands that there is a divine balance between the light and the dark. The raven finds comfort in solitude and enjoys his own company, he seeks stillness and quiet and prefers it to the relentless onslaught of chatter and noise in our daily lives.