Tuesday morning came, and my birthday was officially over. It came to a meaningful end after receiving a little birthday message from Mom and Dad that evening. I was at peace and touched deeply.
The weather forecast was calling for a warm and breezy day, perfect to lazily lounge at the shores of Tenaya Lake in Yosemite National Park. Yosemite holds a special place in my heart and every time I go it’s like going home, as if I was returning to myself. This time was no different and as soon as we passed the entrance gate, a feeling of deep emotional gratefulness washed over me.
This trip was panning out differently than my last trip just a month ago. This one was more relaxing in the sense of being less physical, not scaling major mountains and pushing myself to my limits. Much was going on in the month past, and after all, I deserved a break. Plus who would have not taken advantage of taking a dip in the gorgeous blue and majestic surroundings.
We found a small sandy beach by the water that was perfect. Families came and went throughout the day, but it was relatively quiet and peaceful. We stayed all day, swimming, picnicking, reading small stories from John Muir, his stepping grounds (Yosemite), taking pictures and napping. One of the things Yosemite did for social distancing was to limit the amount of guests allowed in the park (per day) after it reopened. I think it’s one of the best things they did, not just for social distancing and keeping people safer, but also to protect the environment and all its animals. Besides trash being improperly disposed, bears are killed each year due to speeding tourists rushing through the park from one point of interest to the next. I always hurt seeing the signs that mark where a bear was killed due to speeding, or when people come to visit such a beautiful place but don’t clean up after themselves and trash it.
Having a restricted amount of visitors for each day, provided a new park experience with less congestion and crowds. It was probably the most peaceful experience in Yosemite, especially in such a easy accessible area that would normally be overrun by people. But it wasn’t and it was a day spent in beauty and bliss.