Live in the Present and Find the Beauty

Even on a dreary rainy day, Yosemite Valley is beautiful beyond words.

Last week I drove to Yosemite with Scott Harris, one of my fellow board members at Summit Adventure. The board meeting was in Bass Lake, but we couldn’t pass up a short detour to Yosemite. That would be unthinkable.

When we got to Yosemite it was cold and rainy. Yuck. We put on our rain gear and trudged up to Vernal Falls. The last quarter mile of the path is a series of steep rock steps. Water was rushing down in torrents and we were salmon swimming upstream. My “water resistant” pants had soaked through, then leeched water into my boots through my socks. I was sweating under my rain jacket and couldn’t tell if I was wet because of the rain or perspiration. This wasn’t the breezy, balmy day hike I had pictured in my mind when we made the plan.

I hear The Almighty whisper in my ear, ‘Savor the little time you have – even in those moments of discomfort. Resist the urge to fret and complain. Live in the present and find the beauty.’

As uncomfortable as I was, I had to stop about every quarter mile, wipe the water off my glasses, and take in where I was. Behind me were the mighty granite walls of the valley. In front of me was a series of mighty thundering waterfalls. I said to myself out loud, “I GET to be here. I get to see this beautiful place and experience this moment.” As I spoke those words, I felt like I was freed from an evil spell. I was alive again. I didn’t want to be warm and dry, I wanted to be right where I was.

I pondered how often I soldier on through life and forget to take in the beauty that is right in front of me. My head is muddling through the past, or somewhere in the future, trying to avoid the uncomfortable present. I wonder how much of my life I’ve never lived because I wasn’t actually there experiencing it.

Life is almost never all good or all bad; it’s nearly always a mixture of the two. When I look at this photo of Bridal Veil Falls and remember this hike, I hear The Almighty whisper in my ear, “Savor the little time you have – even in those moments of discomfort. Resist the urge to fret and complain. Live in the present and find the beauty.”