15 september 2011, thursday
The land below us was brown, the mountains looked like creases in balled-up sheets that lay at the edge of a lover’s bed, perfectly unkempt. The further west we flew, the more white-capped peaks presented themselves to us. The plane passed over Yosemite; the mountains rose up together and plateaued. In the center they shot suddenly downwards, leaving a gaping hole. I felt small the one day I spent there. The stark contrast between San Francisco’s skyscrapers and Yosemite’s towering rock faces had me in awe. Deer leisurely strolled over to us. There was the constant sound of water from falls and streams.
Trees cloaked the delicately rolling mountainsides and receded from the peaks, leaving them bare. Then the mountains themselves receded and the land laid flat, painted with green and tan squares, framed by crooked lines reaching off to the horizon. Water appeared. The land browned and folded upwards again. A sea of white rolled over the sky, gently, concealing what laid beneath. We were close.