March 4, 2010

remembering Yosemite

Amid all the hustling with maps and guidebooks, trying to figure out vacation time in the most efficient way possible, I feel like I've lost something. Thinking back to the first time Allen and I visited Yosemite I recall how Allen and I didn't have everything figured out. We took a few wrong turns (bad signage in part) and got the campground so late that wouldn't even let us come in and set up. We ended up sleeping in the car with our necks cricked awkwardly and fleece blankets tucked in the windows in an attempt to block the blaring light of the parking lot. As one might guess we arose early with the energy of sore limbs prodding us to be anywhere but there. Pulling out of our would be campground we rolled east through early morning mists that banded about the stands of pine trees on either side, eager to forget our aching necks in the wonder of this fabled valley. As we drove through the mountains we joined up with the Merced river flowing out from Yosemite's moist valleys. The road swept us up into a cleft in the mountain range as we followed the river ever inward. Finally, the mountains opened, and the whole force of the Yosemite Valley broke upon us. With the sun still drifting gently upwards from the rim of the valley, I recall how everything seemed shrouded in golden wraps -El Capitan and Half Dome thrusting their heads through misty draperies that pooled on the valley floor. Against the other wall the silken scarf of Bridalveil Falls waved and danced in greeting. It seemed a lost corner of Eden sent to refresh the souls of men. That is how I first saw Yosemite.

Remembering my first awestruck enjoyment of the peaks and valleys now become so much more family I wonder if perhaps I lose something with my everlasting counting of miles and researching of trailheads. I will never see all there is to see, and there are little to no bad directions. Should I perhaps, in trips planning as well as life, learn to let things go a little? I will never see all there is to behold, and the work I can find for my hands will never be done. Sometimes I think the hardest part of being human is learning to be incomplete and unfinished. Even the majestic Yosemite is thing always changing and never complete. And God has had many more lifetimes to mold that granite than to shape my stubborn heart.

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