Those of you who follow me on Instagram (@littlebowgirl) will probably have already seen some of the photos in this post ^^ During my trip to the US, my family and I spent two wonderful days in the beautiful Yosemite National Park.
It was the second time there for me – having visited the Park with my parents when I was about seven – and although the majestically breathtaking Sequoia trees did not seem as tall as the top of Jack’s Beanstalk (that’s how I remembered them as a child) the sheer raw beauty of the Park still left me in awe and it was lovely to see how my nature-loving brothers were just soaking it up and bursting with excitement about the trails we were set to conquer (me, in my Varinas, was not as psyched about the exercise).
We stayed right in the heart of the Park at the Lodge by the Falls – my sister and I had chosen the place after hearing all kinds of recommendations and we really loved it – we stayed in rustic log cabins by the Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls and the view from our rooms every day was simply surreal. Soaring pines, snow capped mountains – so so so cold but worth shivering for.
We started the day with a huge hearty breakfast at the Lodge – stacks of buttermilk pancakes bigger than my face, scrambled eggs, fragrant crispy bacon, and loads of hot, sweet, milky chocolate – as well as a mountain of potato hash.
My greedy sister D !
We thoroughly enjoyed every single breakfast we had through the trip – if there’s one thing the Americans do really great, it’s got to be breakfast. Blueberry, Butter Pecan, Chocolate Chip, and even Red Velvet – all the pancakes we had were crazy fluffy and soft – a sure way to ruin any diet you’re on but also the best way to fuel your day.
At this point I have to share how woefully under-dressed for the weather I was. I had packed for a nice 20-24 degree spring – and arrived to a 2-4 degree spring in the mountains of Yosemite where the ice was still melting on some parts of the road trip up -_-. In the beginning, I obstinately refused to don any of the thermal wear proffered by my disapproving mother but in the end, in San Francisco, where the winds were even more bitter, I succumbed.
However, in the sunshine of Yosemite, I decided that what little warm clothing I had would do. Wrapped up in my pastel lilac angora sweater, leather jacket, charcoal skirt-leggings, and kitty bowler hat, I sallied forth.
Only to immediately get chastised by both of my parents for wearing my Ferragamos to hike. And no, I received no support from my sniggering siblings.
In the end, sulking and pouting, I borrowed my little brothers’ monstrous black Vans skater shoes which were one size too big (to add insult to injury, my mother made me wear three pairs of socks to make my feet fit) and threw a tantrum all the way into the woods.
Once we were out there, though, all fashion faux pas were forgotten. Yes, the beauty of Nature has a way of making you forget every other inconsequential detail about your life. 🙂
Here are some of the amazing photos we took that day.
I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.
To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.
Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And ’tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.
The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure:—-
But the least motion which they made,
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.
The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.
If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature’s holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man? – Lines Written in Early Spring, William Wordsworth
Spending time with Nature makes me a different person – it provokes contemplation and very often, a great deal of melancholy. Out there in the wild, nobody cares what you wear, how you look – it’s a stark reminder to me about how organic humans started out being and how, through the years, we have embellished ourselves with so many unnecessary wants and desires and man-created standards that we forget that the day we die is the day everything we own becomes useless – and that we are but ashes which return to the spinning earth, just one small cog in the huge turning Wheel that is Life.
When we realise how insignificant we are in the Big Picture, we also see how facetious our lives have become – and how irresponsibly we plunder and damage during the short time we are alive. I’ve decided that one of my goals this year is to spend more time hiking, taking walks, and enjoying Nature – as well as helping to preserve it. Have already set aside bags for recycling glass, paper, cans, and plastic bottles as well as convinced my skeptical husband that we should only buy environmentally friendly refills as well as cleaning solutions. You’d be amazed at how many uses a bottle of organic apple cider vinegar has – from improving your digestion to acting as a conditioner and even cleaning up stains in the kitchen !
The exercise should also really help me out ! My stamina has become just awful after years of physical inactivity and after seeing that wonderful pink glow on my face post-hike, I feel encouraged to keep trying !
And just like how I feel everytime I see something beautiful or deeply experiential, I really hope to bring my future children and K (who has been to Yosemite but as usual cannot remember a whit about what he saw) to the Park ! I remember how my parents explained how old and tall the trees were, how they let us feel their barks and hunt for walking sticks, and then scramble around the lower branches, letting the seats and knees of our pants becoming a damp and brown mess knowing that our smiles and laughter were worth more than any extra load of laundry.
I’m so blessed to have my parents as my role models and examples to follow, and I’d like to be like them one day too.