poem by Kyla King of Cabin 39
I am from warm summers spent learning the names of brilliant wildflowers that cling to granite cliffs and peek out from beneath the scraggly limbs of weathered old pine trees.
I am from clear, calm pools formed over many years in the bends of the south fork of the Merced River where I can swim with rainbow-colored trout that sparkle in the sunlight as they flit through underwater realms.
I am from the sound of Chilnualna Falls as it crashes into a deep, cold pool in the shade of giant boulders.
I am from the smell of sugar pines and wild azaleas.
I am from high alpine lakes, precious jewels enclosed by granite peaks.
I am from crisp mountain air that tastes pure and clean and seems to wrap the awe-inspiring landscape in shimmering gauze.
I am from the wind that whispers through the tops of the towering pine trees, swaying ever so slightly.
I am from small patches of snow settled in the shadows of tall peaks, unwilling to melt in the heat of summer, ready to dazzle the occasional passerby. I am from the babbling sounds of the river, midafternoon summer sunlight, and gentle breezes.
I am from the feeling of warm granite, rough under my feet.
I am from the tremendous effort of backpacking and the relief that accompanies the removal of large backpacks.
I am from the breathlessness felt only on tall peaks gazing out at smudged blue and purple mountains, receding into the distance.
I am from card games during hiking lunch breaks.
I am from days of adventure and exploration and the thrill of discovering something in nature that no one else will see in exactly the same manner.
I am from forging my own path through undergrowth and hiking off-trail, rather than walking along the traditional path.
I am from an oasis, detached from the fast pace of urban life and the humming cacophony of noise that accompanies it.
I am from climbing mountains and bouldering.
I am from a loving family that values wilderness, quiet, and solitude.
I am from a childhood of picking wild berries and collecting acorns with my younger sister.
I am from an environment that inspires me to paint landscapes and write poetry and allows me to understand Frost, Thoreau, and Emerson’s appreciation for nature.
I am from a multi-generational tradition of summer trips, warm nights spent on the deck of our cabin, and hearing my grandparents reminisce about days from their past.
I am from a culture of laughter, adventure, and family.
I am from Yosemite.
To read more of our Recollections of Life and Events in Wawona, Yosemite National Park stories as told by the Homeowners of The Redwoods please visit our blog.
edited by Debbi Shelander