A little over two weeks ago, my family and I journeyed to Yosemite National Park for a family vacation. It was time. The prior weeks’ stress level in my home seemed to be increasing by the hour. It seemed that technology had overtaken the house. You couldn’t talk to anyone without texting them, even though they might just be upstairs in their room. My husband’s travel schedule was daunting and we were living vicariously through face-time. My daughter, who just got her license, was “needing” the car most days while my college age son, was cramming for a Spanish exam at my kitchen table. The dog, as usual, carried around my clean mis-matched socks from among the ever-growing pile of clean socks in the laundry room. As I tried to get part of my writing project done, the phone kept ringing. It was the Dr.’s office reminding me that I forgot my appointment! Okay, it’s time!!!
After arriving in San Francisco, we rented a car and began the three-hour journey to the park. As we drove, the sites on the way their were amazing. I was oohing and awing with my husband, but it was extremely quiet in the backseat. I turned around to see if we still had our children with us, and to my dismay, they were on their iPhones. Dad decided to get tough. “No more texting! Period. This is family vacation time”. I had to put mine away too! We started playing car games just like we used to when they were little. At first they were not happy, but then, they got into it and we were all laughing and haveing a great time. We found a great little Mexican restaurant along the way and enjoyed a wonderful meal together.
After arriving at the National park, the first thing we did was to go to the Sierra National Forest and see the Giant Sequoia trees. We didn’t realize that we would have to hike into the forest to see these amazing trees. All I can say is that it was worth the hike. We found out that they are closing this part of the park for at least two years so that they can revitalize the trails. We were so happy that we got to experience God’s amazing creation while this section was still open to the public. At one point, my daughter climbed across a tree that had fallen over an embankment. It frightened me at first, but my husband was cheering her on as she bear-hugged it across safely to the other side. The adventure continued as we climbed up, over, and through a tree that used to be a “drive through” tree for horse and buggies in the 1800’s.
The trip culminated at the valley loop of the National Park where we rented bicycles and drove around the base of the valley to see the most beautiful sites I’ve ever seen in my entire life. We had to stop every five minutes to just take in what we saw. I was mesmerized by everything I was seeing. It absolutely didn’t look real. It couldn’t be this beautiful, or could it? It certainly was! The sounds of nature were all around us too. The peace of the birds singing to us, and the site of deer drinking from the river made my heart glad inside. The kids wanted to climb every boulder they saw. Instead of 16 and 20, It was like they were 8 and 12 years old again. I can’t tell you how much this meant to me. They were free from the entanglement of their “good” life back at home. They were relishing a glimpse of what I believe “heaven” will be like. My mind, that had been so cluttered the week before, was now at peace with God.
After it ended, all I could think of was going back and camping the next time. Hopefully we will get that opportunity, but if not, we will always have this wonderful memory of Yosemite National Park. Thank you God for your Creation and for your Peace that passeth all understanding.