I never even dared to think that I could ever see Yosemite in real life, with my own eyes. And so at the same moment when, after leaving the tunnel which Wawona Rd goes through, I caught the first glimpses of the Yosemite Valley with El Captain and Half Dome illuminated with late-afternoon light and Bridalveil Falls already hidden in shadows, actual tears started to flow down my cheeks.
I’m going to tell you something. Maybe, the law of attraction is real. I have never really deeply thought about the existence of this particular law, but it seems real now. When I think about how many things could have been different if this and that… It is really kind of a miracle that I am where I am right now.
Throughout the years, I have spent quite a few hours literally stalking Yosemite Falls, Half Dome and El Captain on the National Park Service’s website. I knew which trails I wanted to hike, which of my many weaknesses I planned to beat on them. I knew this even at the time when there hasn’t been even the smallest clue that I could ever find myself driving around Tunnel View and trying to control my shaky breath and the urge to just get out of the car and cry like a child, thanking to whatever force helped me to get here.
But there I was, in this quite a strange state of mind, admiring the beauty of something I was never meant to see with my own eyes, according to the vast majority of people I used to be surrounded back in Czech by. When I think about it, I could have tried to choose people who I interacted with more wisely. But on the other hand, that’s not so easy at school.
After a slow descent into the Valley and registration, before I started getting settled, I just walked around. Just a few steps this way, and few more this way… The meadow full of yellow and violet flowers. The tiny but unbelievably high Staircase Falls. The shadows of the mountains. The sweet-scented gentle wind playing with my hair. The golden late-afternoon light dancing through the branches of all these old trees. The hind just taking a walk behind my back.
It took to all the mosquitoes only a few seconds to find me and very soon I was covered in bug bites. But the whole reality of being here was so unbelievable that some mosquitoes didn’t have absolutely any chance of getting my attention. I had a strong support in fighting the bug bites anyway, my tea tree oil. Once I put it on, I can be sure that these itchy spots stop being itchy in just a few seconds and heal during one night. Seriously. I don’t know what sorcery it is – nothing ever worked on bug bites for me, but tea tree oil.
The night came very soon after I got settled and ate my dinner. And even though I was tired from all the journey which has led me there, I couldn’t but stare, still in tears of emotion and joy, at the growing moon, stars surrounding Half Dome and the steep, unbelievably high rocks witnessing my wonder.
I heard the voices of some of my teachers repeating “you can’t do that”, “put your feet on the ground, you stupid” and “you cannot have a life like that”. “I have to send them some nice postcard,” was my last thought.
And then, listening to the lullaby of the mountains, my consciousness slowly faded away and left me with the most beautiful dreams in months. And I knew that at the moment when I wake up, these dreams weren’t just going to fade away. They were a reality.