Twigs (on the ground oftentimes aren’t noticeable, but if you take the time to look…)
There was a point last year, when I was in Yosemite National Park, at which I decided not to write on here for the time being. I can once again understand the feeling.
Yosemite is a wonderful place for experiencing and reflecting. The downside is that with all of those new experiences and reflective moments, documenting them regularly is sometimes easy to forget about.
With that said, I will write a little.
The Present: I’ve been enjoying my time here. I live in a wonderful tent in the woody village known as Boystown. I wake early in the mornings, either for work or for Yoga and drink much tea (and good South American tea too, thanks Mom. .. ) I’ve been cooking and preparing much of my own food which has been an adventure in and of itself. I will say, I have come a long way since I started. I make copious amounts of yogurt, oatmeal raisin bread, whole wheat crackers, tomato basil hummus, serrano/tomatillo salsa, banana oatmeal milkshakes, parmesan kale chips, cinnamon apple granola, quinoa salads, rice pilafs, peanut butter and some other things that I’m forgetting. Probably about 75% of my diet is there on that list. I’m quite nearly a vegetarian.
I still enjoy riding my bike and do so every day. I’ve been blessed with a Brooks B17 saddle which has been wonderful. Meditation/contemplation/solitude and reading are some of my favorite things to do as well. There are no thrift stores in Yosemite National Park, but when I make it out of the Valley I make my trips worthwhile (purchasing the bulk of my food as well- although not at thrift shops.)
I’m working as an Inventory Clerk at the Studio Warehouse here in the park. The job is good, although I don’t often feel very good about what I’m actually doing (a cog in Delaware North Companies sleazily efficient retail machine.) There’s a drum set hidden up in a corner on the second level of the warehouse which has been enjoyable from time to time. I work with a guy about my age from Mississippi (the son of an English vagabond), a middle-aged Prison Sergeant away from his previous job because of stress/health reasons, a computer programmer, a blind man with a wonderful heart (who amazingly works as a crushing machine operator for recycling) and several other stressed-out adults with too much on their minds and not enough rest.
I miss my family much. It was wonderful being able to spend time and travel with them, but now they’re off, either on another continent, about to swing past me from Michigan to LA (USC!) as I head back to the Midwest or in other random places. There are others in different spots, although I think most would call them friends, but I think they’re more than that due to the heart bonds. They’re above friends, but not family- I don’t know what they’d be exactly. Anyway, they’re all over the place as well… And I miss them as well.
Near Future: I’m taking off soon. Actually in less than two weeks. Longest solo trip thus far in my life- Greyhound, 63 hours across the country. I’m headed to Spring Arbor University in Spring Arbor, Michigan, in order to study either Social Justice or International Development. Some friends that I made here, who are involved with ACMNP (A Christian Ministry in the National Parks*), are currently attending SA or recently graduated. The fact that I’ve really enjoyed my time with them and have been impressed by their demeanor, actions, faith and reading habits, played a large role in my decision to head over to their school. Prayer as well as guidance from friends and family also played a definitive part in the choice. I’m excited and anxious, as well as nervous. I do hope that it goes well and I am planning on putting much into it. First semester should give a fairly good idea of how it is, and the second semester may possibly be spent in Guatemala (I’ve gotten conflicting reports on the likelihood of that.) I’ve hear very good things about happenings at the school and the Professors as well. Of the two graduates that I know, both have spoken highly of the school. The only shortcomings that I currently foresee have to do with regulations against candles and incense in housing and a required meal plan. I suppose both are surmountable. I am a bit bummed that as Trevor heads to California from Michigan, I’ll take off for Michigan but such is life I suppose.
Reading: In the past two weeks I finished “Eat Pray Love”, “The Death of Ivan Illyich”, “Into the Wild” and “Car Camping”. The middle two books I loved. Both are very good, for very different reasons and I recommend them both wholeheartedly. If you could only read one, however, I’d say you must surely go with Tolstoy. “Eat Pray Love” wasn’t terrible. A fantastic concept, but borderline shallow- almost reading like a Salon editorial. It has some internal inconsistencies as well, but all in all was an entertaining read and it had more quotable parts and concepts than I guess I’d like to admit. “Car Camping” was a wreck of a book.
I’ve also started David Platt’s“Radical”, Tozer’s “Pursuit of God”, Lewis’ “The Four Loves” and “New Spanish Self-Taught Revised Edition”. “Radical” is quite good so far, “Pursuit of God” is fairly amazing, “The Four Loves” has been hard to get into and the Spanish book has been on par with what I would consider to be quite average.
With that I’ll end this thing. I hope that this finds you well, as well as growing in vulnerability, conviction, trust, faith, truth and dependence.
*Correct, “A” stands for “A”.
PS. While bicycling over here (Degnan’s Pizza Loft) I enjoyed some Enya. Always nice…
PPS. I’ve developed quite the affinity for Mason jars.