This morning, as I made my way to the airport, I was in a rush, surrounded by metallic drab grays and blues with insincere faces and the imminent will of the clock speeding me up.
I reached for my great grandmother’s gold necklace and fixed it onto my neck, combatting a headache and a sleepy daze, which I hadn’t been able to shake since last night.
I’m going home, I kept thinking.
As I rifled through my pockets at the TSA station, I discovered this memento I stowed away days ago from Yosemite Park. Instantly, it brought a smile to my face and made me remember, just like that, the divinity of this moment.
I’ll close off this note by wishing you well on your journey. Make sure you pack spare leaves and mementos as you traverse the darkest corners and emerge brilliant and golden with everything to show for it.
For the last week, I’ve been isolated from all signs of physical connection as witnessed through my cell phone and its reception.
After eight weeks of staring at a phone screen, I was stripped of it all as I traversed Yosemite Park. At first, it was difficult to disconnect from civilization in this regard with no social media, no internet, and no digital map to guide me forward through the unexplored terrain.
Luckily enough, I fared well, requiring only the silence, my feet, my steady breath, and loads of water to make my hike through nature. At the beginning, I found I had no words as I digested the last eight weeks, which passed me in a blur.
And yet, in the silence, I found words within me speaking ever so softly. It had been months since I bled my first poetry collection onto the page. Despite this, I kept wondering what was next for me — what to write, what to create. In my mind, I bought into all these capitalistic, consumptive tendencies even though it’s something I’ve always fought to distance myself from.
“What will I publish next?” This question always lingered on my lips, and as often as I asked it, I returned with nothing to show for the question because I did not have the answer.
And I still don’t.
I don’t know what’s next for me. I think I’m meant to sit on the catalog of poetry I’ve gathered here and continue to write and write until I emerge clearer for the fresh summer air and the silence all around me.
I’ll end this letter with a thank you for the moments of respite I’ve gathered from the Arizona heat.
Thank you, Yosemite.