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.
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