“Among them are killers”
A corrupted form of an American Indian word, Yosemite translates into “among them are killers.” So how can a place rooted in violence, defined by such wild darkness, bring me peace?
It is a summer tradition to plan a vacation, our destination this year: Yosemite. A close friend from college is from Mariposa, which is a mere 30 minutes from one of the most breathtaking national parks our country has to offer. When I told her of our plans to travel to her backyard, she promptly asked for my address. A week later I received a fat priority mail envelope covered in mountain sketches with this quote: “The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness” -John Muir. Inside that package was every possible piece of information on the park and handwritten tabs of all of the must see spots. An insiders guide to Yosemite, in other words: Gold. Few people have the ability to make me feel completely seen- and Amy is one of them. I could feel her thoughtfulness before even opening her package. From the start I knew this was going to be an amazing trip.
My mom has taught me how to travel, and we have become quite good at doing it together. Sure, sharing a bathroom is not the top of my morning (she feels the same way, of this I am SURE), but our system has not failed us once. We know how to get the most out of an experience, and armed with Amy’s package we began our three day trip to Yosemite.
Few things bring me the peace that hiking does. But this time, it was different. This was not the familiar dirt of Sonoma or Mt. Tam, this felt massive, like it was telling me from the moment I stepped into the valley that it was going to own me for the next few days. Willingly, I allowed it to. From our first evening taking in the history and falling asleep to the sound of running water outside our window, to rolling through the valley on cruisers, to our day hike to Vernal and Nevada Falls, it owned me.
Fall in love with your surroundings, it will not fail in putting things into perspective. It seems that every now and then we all need to be reminded of the wisdom that comes from the darkness, from the wilderness.
no smile compares to
a smile in love; no feeling
is justly expressed