Our 5-year-old calls it “Yo-somebody” and although he could probably pronounce it correctly, “Yosemite,” we choose to live with the word we have come to love and identify our vacations with for just a bit longer. It will be a year before we go back. Yes, we will go back, Lord willing. Until then, I don’t want to forget what I found in Yosemite.
When we left I was fatigued, weary, cloudy and unsettled. I came home reminded, rested and ready.
The thing I love about camping is the freedom that comes with living in the wilderness for a week. You have no choice but to be unplugged, to let go of everything at home and be in the moment. You make a home on a site and you have neighbors who leave you feeling a void when they leave before you. There is an anti-L.A. kind of freedom that comes with a layer of dirt on your skin for a week and no gross feelings about it. The no-nonsense of no make up and not worrying a stitch about what you look like. The heart stopping feeling in the middle of the night as I wondered if a bear was right outside our tent , an experience that welcomed us the first night. That achy feeling in my legs after hiking with all the kids up to Vernal Falls. Living for the now and not thinking about the future except perhaps what we may cook for dinner.
Speaking of dinner, I love to cook outdoors. There is nothing like the smell of bacon mixed with the piney, mapley scent of trees drifting in the cool of the morning. Or the aroma of onions and peppers on the griddle in the evening. So much joy experienced last week was in the food prep with Laura as we gathered our ingredients to make a meal over lengthy discussions. Whether we are ever sure we made the best decision for our kids education, or our dreams of lush gardens, the priority of parenting, and what stays on our “to-do” lists this Fall and what needs to go.
I wonder, will I ever stop worrying when my husband and son jump of 25 foot bridges? Meanwhile, I consider fighting against the fear and anxiety of wanting to do it myself. Maybe next year. My heart is filled with delight as I watch the boys enjoying their new adventures, gaining little bits of courage. I am filled with gratitude for a God who provided a husband for me who pushes the boys in ways I don’t know how and has grace and patience with them as they learn and all the while stops to hold me and kiss me to assure me that he still loves me deeply. I am thankful for friendships and realize I long to go deeper in these relationships and closer to God. I recognize I do too much and try too hard with things I need to just let go of.
So in Yosemite, I went looking for direction for ministry, solace from care-giving but was given rest for my soul. As I breathed in smell of the forest and the earthy smell of the ground and the burnt and smokey fire, I am thankful to be reminded I am always given what I need, when I need it by a God who sees me.