Never Lose Wonder
Yesterday there was a winter storm warning. What better kind of weather could you ask for on a day you were going to visit Yosemite Valley? It was our last weekend to head down to the valley before leaving for the holiday season, and it was personally my last time to see it until the spring. We could've gone a much safer, less snowy way but we had to see Tunnel View. If you've never been to Yosemite this is probably the picture you've seen of this place. Vast granite walls guiding your eyes down into a valley topped with pine trees. Flat meadows leading up to rock faces that shoot up 3,000 feet instantly. It truly is a sight to see. The rain started falling and the dense fog hung over the trees so you couldn't even see the top. It was as if the mountains were ascending to the heavens and we were gazing up at them from the bottom. We soon came to the realization that tunnel view wasn't actually going to be it's normal awe-inspiring picture. The tiny car slowly rolled it's way into the snow and ice covered parking lot and we slowly made our way out, slipping and laughing as we walked over to the classic "tourist spot". This is a spot I've stood in many times through out the past few years. This spot will always hold a special place in my heart. I remember the first time I drove into the park with some of my closest friends from Texas and we stood there drooling over the giant landscape. We even got pulled over by a ranger because we were hanging out of the sunroof, blasting music and totally geeking out over how big everything was. I remember visiting this place on days off when I worked at a summer camp near by and we would spend the whole time in the sun climbing until we were too tired to move. I remember coming here all alone and simply crying over the beauty and needing a place of rest -- a sanctuary to sit in. I hope this view never gets old. I find myself taking a photo each time as if a picture will capture this place and save it forever. I know I'll find my way back here in a few months and though I will have changed as a person, this place stays constant. It will always be a home.
Since living outside more, I have had the privilege of seeing places like this often. Beautiful landscapes, snow dusted mountains, vast oceans and sunsets so good you wish you could eat them. I find myself getting a little use to it and I don't want to. I hope to never lose the sense of wonder that is totally encasing me daily. When I was new to spending more of my time in these places I would be completely floored by all the beauty. I would cry often and sometimes I would have to sit down because it was just too much. Lately the Lord has been reminding me that it's still possible to see things that way. To see the world as he sees it. Completely awe-filled and detailed. Every living thing breathing life and made for purpose. Creation is singing a song all around and it takes intentional listening to really hear the melody. And a cool thing I've tried to remember is, I don't have to be in an "outdoor" setting to grasp onto this concept. I see it in the friends I get to live life with each day. I see it in the city when a stranger and I exchange smiles as we pass one another. Despite the hurt and the pain that is very present in every human life -- we can chose to see the beauty. I never want to over look that; it's dangerous. I know there is struggle and chaos everywhere we look but I would hate to only see that in this world. The song of life is too good to pass up. Even though tunnel view wasn't what it normally is, I still had to sit for a second and pray... pray for the beauty to sink in deep. A quiet time to be thankful and to pray that I never stop seeking wonder and the ability to see small things all around me. After making it safe to the valley floor we spent the day sitting inside watching the snow fall and listening to the piano. Then once we returned to camp we had an unforgettable night of fast pace sledding. The kind of sledding you feel the next day... especially if you ran into a Pontoon boat going like thirty miles an hour like I did. These are the kinds of things I'm talking about though, being present and being with people. It's totally beautiful and worth every second! It may have been my last time to the valley for a while but I sure hope this truth sits in my mind forever and I hope it helps in your perspective today. Wherever you are, tap into that song -- it's wonderful.
"Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God." - Psalm 90:2