Yosemite: It Isn’t Ugly

Beauty in a Tree

Wow. Amazing. Beautiful. Awesome. or maybe even …. <= nothing at all. Yosemite will render you speechless or at least leave you standing in awe, and if it doesn’t please go back to your skyscrapers. There should be a sign warning you that you will be left jaw dropped every few steps. Or maybe not. It’s beautiful in pictures and even more so in real life. Every 10 steps I found myself thinking this must be the best view of the valley only to find out that in approximately 10 more steps I would be thinking the same thing again. It’s amazing, I would say it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen, but I’ve found myself saying that a lot lately. I think about home. I live in Bryson City, NC and the Great Smoky Mountains and to me it’s one of the most beautiful places on earth. Yosemite is different. New Mexico is different. Arizona is different. They all have their beauty and I don’t want to just limit myself and say it’s the most beautiful place on earth, because I find myself thinking that every mile we drive up the California coast on Highway 1. I will simply say it’s beautiful and you should go! Ok enough rambling on to the goods!

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sodality.

2015-01-27 17.36.45

Originally posted on beth of fresh air:

 soh-DAL-i-tee, suh-   , noun; 

1. fellowship; comradeship.

2. an association or society; Roman Catholic Church . a lay society for religious and charitable purposes.

Dream catchers hang in the windows next to oranges with cloves stuck in them. The wood stove heats the three bedroom house and the three dogs compete for the spot right in front of it. The coffee is half caf so we all drink twice as much. Rachel makes her own granola with coconut and dried cranberries and it’s the best I’ve had by a long shot. Each morning while eating the memorable granola, Rachel speaks of projects that Dwayne and I can work on for the day and others that she has had in mind for years. She explains what they would entail and then sighs while looking out the window. We have a bit in common, Rachel and I. We love books, coffee, and awe-inspiring nature. I like her a great deal.

Joe (Rachel’s incredibly sharp husband from Sierra Leone)…

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The Ballerina

The Ballerina

They say that she could pass for an angel
At two years old she’s got this radiant glow
But she’s already a princess
She’s her daddy’s girl
and she’s beautiful.

And she says,
She’s going to dance like a ballerina
She’s going to be one of a kind
Someday she’s going to dance for Jesus
Someday everything will be alright
Someday everything will be alright

Her daddy thinks that she’s perfect
They had been trying for years
It’s a miracle she’s here
She smiles despite the hurting
In her hospital gown
You should see her spinning around

Story: I wrote this song in college while attending the Woodland Hills youth group. One of the wonderful ladies was sharing a story about a little girl with cancer that wanted to be a ballerina. Her daughter had a similar story and it really moved me. Wish I could give you more details about her story, but it’s been too long. I should have written it down then. I decided it was time to add it too my collection and made only a few minor changes to clean it up a little bit. I hope you enjoy it.

Featured Image Credit: ahollowtree via photopin cc

Things Worth While

Things Worth While

Her hearts as big as the harvest moon
Her smiles about the same
Coffee oils the gears that turn
Deep inside her brain

She radiates like the summer sun
On a Gieger she’s a ten
Stars will fall when she walks outside
Knowing she’ll see them

Cause she soaks up all the little things
She soaks up all the smiles
The people, the places, the memories she’s making
Make her life worth while

She would never miss a sunset
On the west side of the beach
And watches every single ray
Until the sunlight’s ceased

She loves the flight of fireflies
The sizzle of the stars
The gentle falling of the rain
As it patters on her heart

Did You Find What You Were Looking For?

McAfee Knob

Did you find what you were looking for? I was asked that a lot when I finished my hike and it kind of caught me off guard. My initial thought was that I didn’t know I was looking for anything. Was I supposed to be? I think it’s a great question though. Why did I go on such a long walk? Was there something I was searching for? Maybe, running away from?

It’s hard to run away from anything on the trail. Maybe a porcupine, they are pretty slow, but everything else finds a way of catching up to you. Well, at least it did to me. You are left to yourself and your mind wonders just about as much as you do. Part of me was running away from time. Maybe that sounds like a foolish thing but I wanted to do something with it and hiking the AT seemed to be the perfect way to spend it. By the way, you have nothing but time on the trail. If that’s what you’re running from, that’s all you’ll find. After about 5 miles that becomes a quick realization. How many times can I think the same thoughts over and over. I guess I didn’t realize my brain was so repetitive.

I love to survive. That might sound weird but my favorite days on the trail were when I was most challenged. When I was emptying my guts at 3am trying to get to a town. Being stuck in a crazy thunder-storm in my little hammock. Walking in the rain. Hiking 27 miles to get to a grocery story before it closes because I was completely out of food. You don’t forget those stories. You forget the stories that are easy where nothing really happens. I think part of me was looking for stories. Maybe something to impress my grand kids, if I get that far.

There were so many reasons I hiked. Most are too vague to tell. I think I needed to clear my head. I needed to process my life’s events and anxieties. All those things we refuse to find time to think about. Well, I shouldn’t say we. All those things I never seem find time to think about. Getting my heart right. Learning more about who I am. Learning to be alone. You don’t have to be alone on the AT, especially if you are a NOBO(north bounder). But you know that might have been one of the best things about it.

So back to the original question. Did I find what I was looking for? Yeah and more. If you have  the means to go on such an adventure, I know that you won’t regret it.