In nature, hidden places generally take some determination to get to.
So it is with Hidden Valley, an impressionistic oil painting of an area in Hop Valley of Zion National Park, Utah.
It’s not that the valley is inaccessible, nor that the trail is impossible to follow. It’s just that it takes a bit of effort and willingness to read maps to be aware that the valley exists at all, because it is little publicized.
As for the trail, it’s sort of kind of forgotten, not groomed in the way of the more popular trails of the park, but it’s there. Now and then, it decides to hop over the stream, sans bridge, but at the time of this hiking – late October – the waters were low and a little wading didn’t feel amiss.
Sometimes, upon reaching the other side, the hiker needs to stop and literally get his or her bearings, because where the trail picks up might not be immediately evident. But a little patience – whether it’s in hiking or life – goes a long way.
Hidden Valley invites the viewer to step into this place of remote quietness, to slow down his or her steps, and to take the trail as it comes. Each bend, each turning of the trail, leads to a different sight and fresh vista.
High canyon walls cut down the sun in places, and deep shadows grow across the landscape even though the afternoon is not yet late. It feels good to stand in those shadows, to dapple one’s feet in the stream, and to experience the intermixing of coolness with the day’s warmth.
Do you hear the silence? Can you feel your breathing slow down and your shoulders relax? Step into Hidden Valley and be at peace with yourself and the world surrounding.
(A companion work to Hidden Valley is On the Chinle Trail, also on this site.)
Featured in 33 Fine Art America groups.
July 22nd, 2019
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