I went off to Yosemite with my parents. We took so many pictures, you'd think we'd never been there before. We got in around 2 on Saturday and took our time getting to the lodge, stopping at all the turnouts. The clouds were hanging low on Saturday, the mist wrapping itself around the treetrunks, diffusing the light and reflecting it softly back to us. We watched planes leave jet trails in long tightropes across the valley walls, stood on bridges staring at the reflections of trees and granite, breathed deep as the sinking sun turned the sky purple and the stone orange.
Sunday we awoke to snow falling straight and soft, a full inch of it on every twig and roof shingle. By the time we got out of breakfast it had turned to a gentle rain, which soon gave way to sun and wispy clouds. We walked around the valley floor for six hours, listening to the way our feet crunched in the inch of untrodden snow. I ran sine waves across the footprints my dad left, thinking "how funny this will look to someone later!" and made tracks across the trail with my hands. We sang "Sunny Side of the Street," badly, and I skipped. I thought "It feels good to not have to act responsible for things." We walked to the Awahnee and they were rehearsing for the Bracebridge dinner in the tall-ceilinged dining room. It was beautiful, and we watched through the doorway for long moments.
Next stop, the usual gift stores, the Ansel Adams Gallery, the Village Store, the Visitor's Center. We had a quick lunch of soup and chili, and then kept walking. The snow brought out every crack and wrinkle in the rock, dusted all the trees, melted in thick drops by midday onto our hats and hoods. When we came back to the Lodge the sun was setting again, a clean, clear sunset. The rocks of the valley shone clean and clear, too, as the melting snow slicked them with water.
At night it was too cold to be outside and my mom and I did crossword puzzles for three hours while my dad worked. Sleep was welcome, the bed far too large for myself, and I managed to roll all over it in the course of the night anyway. The free coffee in the cafeteria brought me odd dreams, but it was better than no dreams.
Today we had breakfast and took more pictures. Upper Yosemite Falls had a great veil of snow on either side of it, and even from our distant spot we could hear the pieces of it breaking free from the stone and falling. Then back into the car. I drove the entire way home, except for Old Priest Rd on which my dad took the wheel.
It feels lovely to be in this armchair, to drive around Los Altos and think "home." Tomorrow is the Lord of the Rings: Trilogy Tuesday. I feel the passing of time again, the way the future comes slow and ponderous, the way the time now seems to be slipping past me always too quickly. But well, it's time to be festive, and put up the lights in front of the house, and find a Christmas tree.