This past week or so I’ve found I’ve had nothing significant to say. I had plenty on my mind but there was nothing to deliver. Sometimes, when you begin blogging you feel you must always produce something and that you must do so on a regular basis. But I’ve had no words lately. It felt to me it was time to listen instead.
Yesterday, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Yosemite National Park. This time, I came in from the south entrance which led me to the central valley. This visit sharply contrasted my previous view of Yosemite which was from high atop these mammoth, tarnished-silver boulders that now surround me, a high trail at the northeast corner of the park.
It is winter in Yosemite. White caps top the cloud-kissing granite giants that surround this valley. Snow also infringes upon what should be pathways, leading to such local sights as Upper Fall and Lower Fall. Yosemite awaits spring and the unrelenting trail of cars that will soon consume this valley–a steady line of canned ants hungry to feast with cameras and eyes on the splendor of this unique national park. Today, the park is fairly empty of activity and I am able to quietly walk winding paths to view the falls. I’m also able to take photos without a single human in the frame. It’s a rare opportunity to be still and ready to receive the gift: serenity. Yosemite delivered, and I walked away with a clear head, knowing that all is right with me and my world.
These past two weeks, my mind has been inundated with incessant mental chatter. Thoughts relating to the challenges of the human relationships in my life commanded my attention but with no clarity. There was no ah-hah moment where it all pulls itself together. Usually, I get a little lost, and then I find my way. I get a little lost again, and I find my way.
When I look back at last year, when I backpacked through Yosemite, one thing stands out from that four-day journey into the wilderness. For those four days, I did not think about my “real” life. I left my worries and concerns behind me as I set out on the trail. It’s not that I was consciously trying to suppress them; they simply did not arise. For four days, I concerned myself with the next 5 miles, the next 100 meters, what the weather was doing, where to pitch the tent, whether or not to jump into the ice cold stream to cleanse myself, and where to dig a potty hole so it was far enough away for privacy but near enough to call for help if I ran into a snake or a bear. From the moment I set out into the wilderness to the moment I returned, I thought of nothing else but what lay immediately before me. Especially those last few hours when we took an uncharted path and added an extra 3 miles of uphill highway hiking on top of our already beaten and tired selves. At that point, all I thought about was my very next step.
Yesterday’s trek in Yosemite made me feel once again as I did last year. All the mental clutter had simply been discarded. Once again, there was a clean slate with which to start anew. It’s only when I stop thinking that I am able to receive a gift so precious. One thing is for certain: I know I want to make these backpack adventures a regular part of my life. Sometimes it really feels good to have nothing to say.
Peace to you all.