Greetings from Yosemite National Park!
My heart thudded wildly as I stepped off the trail and hovered near the edge of the drop-off. 2,000 feet below, Yosemite Valley separated the monolith I stood atop and the one adjacent from me. Usually when my heart raced it was because I was frightened, or anxious, or nervous--but that morning the complete awe that I felt for my surroundings set my blood pumping through my veins and my cheeks flushing bright pink. In May I had had the fortunate opportunity to spend my summer in Yosemite, and on that late July morning, as I gazed at the wide expanse of beauty vibrating with color around me, I knew that the summer would soon come to a close. Within two weeks I would be returning to civilization; to Verizon's LTE cellphone reception, to classes and fast food and exams and bills and nice haircuts and all-nighters and stress and daydreaming-in-class and Netflix and-- But right then I was not thinking about any of that. I was simply smiling and feeling the soft breeze brush my bare arms, inhaling the scent of pine, and gazing at the awesome shadow of Half Dome in the distance. I was simply being. Because that is what wilderness does to me; it allows me to escape my daily routine and live presently, effortlessly. And that is something I think all people should have the opportunity to experience, wherever their outdoor adventure may be. Until next time, Yosemite.