Waves of emotions

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I am returning from a trip to the West Coast. Jacquelyn and I took my parents to California as a gift to celebrate their fiftieth anniversary. We spent time in San Francisco, and then made our way eastwards into Yosemite National Park.

Since first seeing Ansel Adam’s photographs of Half Dome, and the Yosemite falls, visiting this natural wonder of the world has been on my bucket list. I had a desire to experience the wonders of seeing the majesty of the mountains, hewn from granite that millenniums ago had bubbled up from the volcanic fault lines below.

We arose early to drive to Glacier point, arriving before dawn. There were a few people there already. I found a place to be alone. A cold hard granite slab, curving steeply away from my feet, an endless horizon descending into the valley below. Sitting quietly watching the mountains softly bathed in the predawn light. The distant falls, miles away across the valley, could be heard through the peace of the morning air. The air blowing softly against my skin. The vertical face of Half Dome was shaded from the morning glow, its curved back softly illuminated.

The awe-inspiring beauty of the perfect view. The sensory overload of sight and sound. The hard touch of the crystalline granite under my hands. All of it, the waves of senses, creating waves of emotion. Tears running down my cheeks, falling on to the rocks, a mirror of the distant falls. The waves of emotions wracking my mind. Wasn’t this enough? What more was there ever going to be to see? Wasn’t this view, this amazing vista, the final thing anyone could ever need to see. Couldn’t it now be time to leave?

I had the car keys in my pocket, I couldn’t leave them stuck on the hill. I needed to take care of them. I stood and made my way slowly uphill climbing the steep granite slab. Rejoining my family at the overlook. We sat quietly and waited. Holding Jacquelyn’s hand in mine. The silent turning of our planet gently brining the top of the sun over the horizon and into view. Perfectly cresting at the crown of the mountain, Half Dome lit up like a burning candle. The view intensifying, the colors bursting across the sky, the rocks, the valley below exploding in green. Proof that there were new views to see, new experiences remaining.

Last night we drove along highway one. Returning to the city to fly home. The Pacific was calm, just a few waves driven by the northerly breeze rolling up the beaches. We stopped at Pacifica and watched the sun setting miles away across the Ocean. The waves rolling into the shore, lit up, reflecting the burning light from the sun heading downwards, creating beautiful music as they cascaded over the rocks lining the shore. Each wave filling my heart and mind with wonder and love. Another view, another experience, more proof of the endless views that await.

I am looking forward to the next view, holding hands with Jacquelyn. I don’t care if I cry, they will be good tears.

“May I have ease of wellbeing” – Sharon Salzberg


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