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Yosemite Valley - A Spiritual Moment

Day one, of year 58 of my explorations had me once again in Yosemite Valley.

A calm and brisk autumn morning. Dressed in layers including a comfy dark blue wool beanie that I wore low and tight and black fingerless fleece gloves. I carried 25 pounds of camera gear including a thermos of hot black coffee and snacks on my back and balanced my partially extended tripod on my shoulder as I took a leisurely stroll through what at that hour was a dimly lit forest. The only sounds to be heard were the occasional calls of distant birds and the crunching of pine needles under my feet as I zigged and zagged my way around the trees and through the forest in the general direction of the still hidden Merced River.

I got my first glimpse of the river just as I exited the forest and entered a small shadow filled meadow. I paused briefly to survey my surroundings. Frost clung to the knee-high meadow grass. The air was completely still and possessed a meanness that clawed at all of the exposed skin on my face. Slowly I worked my way through the meadow towards the river. Like a locomotive I released a puff of steamy breath with each exhale while the frosty grass stalks 'swooshed' against my pant legs as I moved through the meadow.

It did not take long to reach the river. Or, should I say "reach the river bank." On my side of the river the river bank is four or five feet above the water and is almost vertical with few safe passages down to the water itself. After a few long moments of inspection I turned left and followed the river downstream.

It was still early in the morning - no one else was about - I did not expect to see anyone in this area - I rarely do. The peace and tranquility was all mine to enjoy and appreciate.

I arrived at this location and was totally taken aback by the absolute beauty that I was witnessing. Beautiful light filtered through the forest and the adjoining meadow. The light was still soft, but now held some inviting highlights. The Merced was completely still and mirror like. Offering up some of the most flawless reflections I have ever witnessed. Yosemite on any given day is magical. But, on this day at this moment I knew that I was witnessing something VERY special. Something Spiritual.

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