The mid-September days at 10,000 feet at Lower Cathedral Lake in Yosemite were warm–although as the sun slid away in the late afternoon the temperature soon dipped way down.
From late morning until later afternoon, it was warm enough to wear light clothing, and even go naked. Given what my body had told me on Tuesday (see December 10), I spent some of Wednesday afternoon sitting naked on various rocks. I knew I had to expose my whole self to the sun, to the earth and creatures and trees and rocks around me. I knew I needed to do that to be able to wade into the lake on Thursday.
So Wednesday is a day to become better acquainted with my surroundings, to sit and watch and listen. Perhaps I will connect more with my soul, even become more appreciative of myself.
As I sit, I begin to see the trees. I sit for awhile, not very conscious, just gazing mindlessly at various trees. I notice how multi-shaped they are, how misshapen many are. I notice what will become my soul tree (see December 9).
I begin to speak, calling the trees my siblings, thanking them for being here, for surviving long enough to bless me. I have an “aha moment,” when I realize that the trees are doing what trees do. They grow, even in granite and weather extremes.
Then I notice that all are growing, whether they are “properly” shaped or not. They don’t have to have perfect bodies to be trees, and to grow. I realize that I could learn from this truth. I don’t have to have a perfect body (as defined by someone else, or society, or me) to be me, to live and thrive.
As I take this in, I say “Thank you” to the trees, my teachers. I tell them I am glad to be with them.
Then, a voice, well, not exactly a voice in the human sense, but a voice nonetheless, says, “We have missed you.” It is so clear, and simple. We have missed you.
I cry a little, and then I sob, great big gulping sobs, so aware of how long it has been since I really paid attention to trees and how grateful I am to be here, now, with these beautiful trees. Every tree is simply stunningly beautiful. I want to touch each one, and bow and say thank you.
And I see that I am beautiful–maybe not stunning, not quite sure I can say that about myself, at least yet–but certainly beautiful, handsome.
So I cry some more, and stand up and walk around, just being glad to be revealed to these siblings. And I hug my soul tree. It is a careful embrace, given my bare skin and his (I have decided he is male) needles, but a brotherly, tender embrace nonetheless.
It is beginning to cool, and it is time to put some clothes on. But I know I am now ready to wade in the water tomorrow.
I am home with my pinus albicaulis family, and all their neighbors and friends. I am safe. I have been missed, and I have missed them. We are together and I am loved, and I love, too.
Next, the lake, and who knows what else!