Everyone sees Yosemite


I’m on another road trip. It almost became a weekend habit since Thanksgiving. I find myself totally in love with it, and am enjoying my new destination: Yosemite.

My Friday schedule now is pretty predictable - picking up the rental car, getting the picnic food from Mollie Stone, packing my camera gears and weekend necessities, and then hitting the road. One of the fringe benefits is that I can try out different cars (before I decide which one to own if not a Ferrari). This week I got a Ford Mustang, a silver grey sports car. It looked pretty cute and neat, but as soon as I sat in the driver seat, I knew it didn’t fit me. Like many other American cars, the seat were too big or too low, and is built for much taller and bigger drivers. [Why car designers do not factor in smaller people as drivers? Hmmm... ] Nevertheless, I hope my car drives faster so that I could justify my choice.

The ride to Yosemite takes at least 5 hours. I took a stop midway right outside the park for Friday night, and then realized I had another 3 hours winding mountain road before hitting Curry Village, my next stop for Saturday night. I maximized my speed - taking over as many cars as possible in the same direction, only to find myself behind another array of vehicles. Why am I always the first, and the last?

When my mind was not super alert about the mountain cliffs next to me, I started to ponder: what is this rush all about? I guess, subconsciously, I must have felt that there are too many things I want to do to live my life to its fullest, while realizing life could be too short. If I fasten myself, I can save time, and can win more. But funny fact is that, eventually, we all see the same thing - if Yosemite is everyone’s destination, then it doesn’t really matter if you go fast or not. Maybe by going slower, I could see more, the rocks, the streams (or the snow covered streams), the trees (or the bald trees)...

Maybe I want to be a pioneer, being the first to see all these? Well, but it never takes me long to find out, after enjoying the first for a while, I am still behind others, a different group, no matter it’s because they set out earlier or drive faster. I asked my friend, which would you prefer, the first among the mediocre, or the last among the best?

Am I too philosophical, or am I chasing too hard, at something I don’t even know? I wonder why my business school did not teach me “competition”, or it did but not really something I am talking about here. I hope one day, I’ll be able to gain the wisdom of finding the inner peace (I know I’m getting there, slowly :-)) and knowing what to fight for in life, irrelevant to the external world. Like exactly what I’m doing now, sitting at the empty pavilion of Curry Village in mid morning, diligently typing these words on my laptop, while everyone else is enjoying sightseeing or other snow activities.

Oh well, I have to confess the true reason I am here now is that I was lost in the snow 30 minutes ago, right in front of Yosemite Fall, after getting too excited at the sight of a few deers, and coyotes. Whoops... fortunately they did not bite. Now it’s time to go back to the snow, to discover more... about the nature, and me...