Dear Anita,

John Muir had a lot to say about our California landscape, most importantly he reminds us to, “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.” This is a command I take in earnest.

I have recently returned from Yosemite valley, that glacier-carved, water-laden wonderland. I took seven hour hikes up steep, switchback littered trails, where the difficulty lies not in the altitude or the incline, but instead in just trying to not be constantly distracted by the stupid beauty that opens up before you.

I hiked over the freshest white snow. Across creeks and under waterfalls. Through towering pines dwarfed by sheer granite cliffs. I happened upon chatty stellar jays and hungry does and the occasional worrisome bear dropping.

And what Muir says is true, “Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”

I needed this time. I think it’s good for the mind to be quieted by awe every once in awhile. Especially mine.

1.00- Yosemite 2017- Yosemite Valley From Inspiration Point
Yosemite Valley from Inspiration Point