God’s Country

Written by Hollye Dexter

Bridal Veil Fall, Yosemite, July 4th 2010

No matter how many times I make the trip to the Yosemite, each time I enter the Valley I am stunned anew. My eyes well up with tears and I’m left breathless at the sight of it.
I’ve struggled with my faith for years. The best I can say at this point in my life is that I embrace uncertainty. But as I take in the vast meadows of wildflowers pressed up against towering granite cliffs, deer grazing peacefully, bluejays and robins swooping low over the meadow, painted lady butterflies dancing on the air current, I can’t deny some kind of divine intelligence is at work here. Every butterfly, every fallen tree stump, is a unique work of art. I am probably guilty of overusing the word awesome, but in this case, it is truly…AWE some. Awe-inspiring. Enough so to drop me to my knees to say a prayer of gratitude, or at least acknowledge the creator with a “Dude, you rock!”
On the journey here, driving uphill through endless giant sequoias for so long I felt like we’d never get there. Then, we entered a long dark tunnel with only a pinpoint of light up ahead, and as we finally emerged into sunlight again, we were overwhelmed with a brand new landscape. Majestic granite walls painted all the colors of the ages surround us, sunlight filtering through the crags, waterfalls to our left, to our right, dropping over 5000 foot cliffs. Stunning, magnificent, heart-stopping wonder. Even as a writer, I’m at a loss to describe it.
Oh how I needed this. I’ve been so consumed by the stresses of every day life. I’ve forgotten what is real. That’s a good question to ask myself right now. What is real, anyway? What we believe is what becomes our personal reality. Lately, stress has become too much a part of mine.
Sometimes I forget that my daily reality is just one tiny part of what makes the whole of me. Independent of my career, my tax returns, my problems, I am a free spirit. Too often I forget that I’m capable of anything, that I can have big dreams, that life doesn’t have to be the way it’s programmed now. But in order to change things, I have to first change my mindset. Stepping into God’s creation is a great way to do it.
Even driving here, hour after hour of wide open farmland, rolling hills untouched by man, it’s inconceivable that this is California. There is so much more to this state than Hollywood, and L.A. and so much more to me then just who I am in L.A.

As I write this now, it is sunrise. I’m sitting with my laptop alongside the Merced river, swollen high with melting snow. The sound of rushing water is almost deafening, the air smells of a woodburning fireplace. A chickapee just flew up and sat beside me. Wow. Could life be any more perfect? This perfect still moment gives me the space to reflect, and in doing so I realize how much life is like that journey to Yosemite….the uphill climb that goes on forever, the dark tunnel where you can’t see what lies ahead, but oh my god, you have to just trust and hold on, cause when you get there, you’re not gonna believe your eyes. So much beauty lies ahead, so much unimaginable beauty. Just trust, and be patient. It’s coming….So enjoy the scenery along the way, and be content in your heart, knowing that every moment of this journey is leading you toward something magnificent.

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  1. Deb and Barbara

    Perfectly said.

    And to add, I just had a weekend with several wonderful girlfriends, one of whom is Mohawk. She advised to be very open to the creatures that come to you while you're in natural surroundings: they are there to tell you something. Seems like you heard your story loud and clear.


  2. Anonymous

    Dude, you rock!

  3. Anonymous

    Brilliant!!! Makes me realize that even though I love the beach I love my home and quite acres of blueberry fields, bears, deer, fox, owls.
    Thank you Hollye and I am so happy that you saw and felt refreshed and renewed.

  4. Anonymous

    Hollye, I felt your relaxation. Try and hold onto it for a few days after you arrive back home.


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