Yosemite

Here is a visual representation of my last weekend to weekday transition:

   

Some things to note:

  • I am drinking hot coffee in the first picture, an anomaly in my “iced-or-bust” lifestyle
  • Starbucks is at it already with their holiday-themed cups
  • In a world full of surprises, I make sure to control the one thing I can: having a morning coffee

The only way to improve upon my daily ritual that is drinking a morning coffee is to drink said morning coffee in Yosemite Valley with the scent of ponderosa pines and lupine in the background. The smell of the Valley when you first step outside your tent in the morning might just be the greatest scent of all time. I wish I could bottle it up and bring it home (which is why I’ve purchased almost every pine tree-scented candle I’ve ever come across in a futile attempt to recreate the smell in my house).

Yosemite. Ugh. I wondered if it seemed grander and more magnificent than usual after my injury but when I think about how I’ve felt every time I’ve gone… it’s always that grand. And magical. And soul-filling.

If I were a half-decent writer (or even one who spent some time thinking about what she wanted to express, rather than just ranting on her computer after drinking too much coffee), here is where I’d write something poetic and half-deserving of Yosemite’s beauty. And – if I were writing in my paper notebook – here’s where there would be a few watermarks left by the inevitable tears shed when I dream about it.

I think a lot about what makes my life worth living; the moments of stillness in which I think, “This, right here, is why I’m alive.” Of course I derive so much meaning from smaller, less distinct, more intangible things: my relationships, love, nature, and music in all its various forms. But as someone who often finds themself asking “what’s the point?” it’s an incredible feeling when the answer comes with such force and clarity. Like, “Thank God I’m alive otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to experience this moment. All the pain of life is worth it to feel its complete opposite.”

How can I carry this feeling with me each day? When things are difficult and life feels more full of suffering than beauty? Often it’s enough to know that Yosemite is there, in all its majesty, changing with the seasons but its scent familiar each time I return.

P.S. Everyone go donate to the Yosemite Conservancy.

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