First Light at Hidden Valley
Joshua Tree National Park, CA
Mormons named these Yucca palms Joshua Trees. Joshua, who led the Jews into Canaan after Moses died, would pray with arms outstretched to heaven. I moved through a cut just before sunrise, into a small desert island surrounded by rock. Though the higher points and peaks began catching the sunrise, I would be in the softer light for awhile. I stood behind these trees as if behind a sculpture, the distant rock like the Walls of Jericho, the trees like children of the promised land, praying for guidance to bring them down.