Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Day 57 October 12 2009
What does one feel in the presence of one of the largest organisms to ever grace this earth? Does one feel awe and wonder? Does one feel excitement and joy? Does one feel serene and at peace? What about at the base of a monolith, a shear wall of rock jutting out into the sky, a million years old? Is it possible to comprehend, or is just the thought too overwhelming? The answer to all of this is yes. One feels these emotions and thoughts, not separately, but combined in one big confusing inexpressible wave. There is a beauty in every place, and too often it is hard to uncover. But here, in Yosemite, the beauty is so prevalent it cannot be missed. There is something old and archaic about this place and it emanates from every bough, stream and precipice. What comes over you when you stand small before a tree that is older than the language you speak? Do you weep, for your insignificance before something so aged and so wise? Or do you stand a little straighter, shoulders back, taking a lesson from the tree? Look at the scars from the fires. Look how the tree still stands. A giant sequoia's bark is 10 times thicker than a sugar pine of the same size. It survives the fires of nature each time, and grows a little more nonetheless. We can all learn from the trees we saw today in the Tuolomne Grove. No matter what fires may come and even after the most difficult of times, grow a little more, and eventually you will tower over all else.
Here we sit, in the great valley of Yosemite, with a cliff on each side. The mountains tower above, silent, strong, having seen and known more than we could in a thousand lifetimes. What can we learn from them? May the clouds pass over you, may the elements batter your face, bu through it all, be solid, resolute, and if you never cease to inspire those who see you, you will unending shine in the light, and you will always come out on top.
So, my friends, as we continue on this journey of ours, be strong like the mountain, resolute in your goals. Stand tall like the sequoia grove, and grow from our fires. Together we will make it through. And no matter what, never lose that feeling from today, that jumbled confusion of too many emotions to count, and remember why you are here. We are all ECOEE, and we are the babbling brook, the raging rapid. We are the timeless tree, the mountain most high. We are the wildfire racing through the underbrush. We are whatever we make ourselves. We are ECOEE 2009, and that alone is something.

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