June 13, 2013
As Andrew and I grew to know and love each other more, we came to that inevitable point in our relationship when we talked freely about each other's activities outside of our relationship, and, in particular, our activity on Facebook. One instance included a discussion about photos on said social media site. I am going to spare you the embarrassment of incorrect pronunciation by telling you that Yosemite is not written how it sounds.

Yosemite: yo-sem-ih-tee

So now you know, but even though it may have a difficult name to pronounce correctly, Yosemite is one of the most brilliant displays of nature and its power in the world. Walking through this park and hiking its trails, your eyes are constantly bombarded with scenes of immense structures forged by the hands of time, wind, water, and especially ice.
As I contemplate the strength required to so alter my surroundings, it occurs to me that these same forces have a way of altering all of us, shaping us into the people we are.
We forget so easily how quickly time passes, but somehow it manages to come and change us, in our appearances and our minds.
We are blown about by each new situation or stress that confronts us and forced to change in the process.
We can oftentimes feel as if we are being engulfed by the stresses of day-to-day life, so much engulfed, that we feel like we might drown in it. If the water doesn't come in a flood, it comes as a river or stream, slowly, but steadily carving its way into our souls, teaching us while leaving a scar.
But the ice is the most drastic of all. It crawls slowly towards us with its icy fingers, until we are grasped so tightly in its grip that we can hardly breathe, and when it finally melts away, it can take away bits of us with it.
We can not stop this steady flow of change around us. No matter how hard we try, trials will always come. But we can decide how they will affect us. Will time pass with days filled with hope, joy, and love, or with sorrow, greed, and envy? Will we stand strong against the winds that howl around us, or will we allow ourselves to be tossed to-and-fro with it? Will the waters that come as a flood or stream leave us bitter and angry, or forgiving and wise? Will the ice tear the best pieces of us away, leaving us half the person we were before, or will we withstand the ice and hold on to what we are?

As I stand at the peak of Sentinel Dome, I feel as if I'm standing at one of the peaks of my life, seeing my entire life before me. Not knowing the details of each gust of wind or stream, but knowing that just like the mountains standing tall around me, I will also stand, facing any trial, strong and confident, knowing that although it may change me, it will not beat me.
With my husband and my daughter at my side, I made my way down the dome, ready to face whatever lay ahead together as a family.

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