American-born photographer Thomas Ives has worked for international news and feature magazines for over 38 years. His photo essays and images have appeared in National Geographic, Time, Geo, Stern, Newsweek, Life, Smithsonian, and many others publications. He currently lives in Vilcabamba with his Ecuadorian partner. For more about Thomas, click here, or here (en español).
Breathing in the Mystery
The night sky outside of my village of Vilcabamba often opens up with a display of the firmament that reminds me of my Midwest boyhood lying on a blanket in the back yard with the last scent of lilac in the air and the sound of crickets chanting. My father would point out the major constellations and share some of the myths behind them. I felt like I could have reached out and touched the Milky Way
The innocence of childhood coupled with the vastness of stellar space made for a dramatic leap from small self to immense universe leaving me with a comforting feeling that all was at peace and in order. It was a fleeting yet profoundly mystical sensation: the stuff of spirituality.
My view of the Mandango peak here in Southern Ecuador gives the sacred night sky scale, and when Venus or the moon are playing hide and seek with the misty cloud forms it’s always an added treat.
— Thomas H. Ives
Mandango with Venus, star field and clouds. Photo illustration. Copyright Thomas H. Ives 2015. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org