100 Days of National Parks: Day 20 – Mirror in the Merced, Yosemite

Mirror in the Merced

Mirror in the Merced
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There is something profoundly peaceful about sitting on the banks of the Merced River in Yosemite Valley listening to the slow rush of water and staring out at the towering granite cliffs and domes that rise out of the valley floor.  It’s impossible not to be captivated by the scenery, transfixed by your surroundings.

In general when I’m traveling, I rarely take the time to sit and let the peacefulness of nature envelope me.  I find I’m often always chasing the next shot, or trying to hike over the next rise to see what I can see from there.  I try to make the most of every moment I can when I’m in Yosemite or any National Park, but it’s often the moments of calm and peace that I remember the most.

Those moments can be fleeting, standing on the edge of a river for five minutes listening to its flow, wandering its banks trying to find the perfect angle to frame a reflection, waiting for a cloud to pass so I get the right light, but they invariably stand out when I look back at my photos and think about where I was and what I was thinking as I took it.

I keep telling myself that I need to find more moments of quiet contemplation when I’m out, and to not be so concerned with seeing everything I can or racing out to a specific spot to get the perfect shot.  Often exploration is as rewarding if not more so when it’s directed inward, and you let the sounds and the scenery distract your mind enough to let it wander. It’s something I strive for and hope to do more of in the future.


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