Missing the Point | Denver Area Family Photographer

The life of a mom-wife-homeschooler-family photographer doesn’t always allow for a lot of alone time. Especially when the kids were younger, I had to carefully carve out time to hear myself think without their constant endearing but exhausting chatter. Now at ages four and seven it is remarkably easier (hold on, mamas of little ones! It does get easier), but when my youngest was one, I started leaving the house every morning at 6:30 a.m. I knew I could be alone, outside, and they would be okay with daddy for half an hour.

This tradition continues, and this morning as I trekked up Green Mountain, I kept craning my neck to see the stunning sunrise happening behind me. The sun was a fiery orange ball slipping between the strips of clouds and the thick haze that hangs at the horizon these days, rising steadily above the city skyline. The clouds to the north were slowly gathering color, at first deep purple, cotton-ball stacks and then eventually soft pink and streaked with rain that was falling in the sky but not on earth. The view to the south was less stunning in comparison, just the light purple of early morning, but something caught my eye and then stopped me in my tracks. Three huge elk were calmly munching their breakfast, watching joggers and bikers zoom past them, oblivious to their presence. I suddenly remembered that a hiker near the trailhead had told me I would see elk on the top of the mountain if I looked for them, but I had nearly missed these monuments of beauty because I was only looking for what sparkles.