Boundless Beauty - My Family Travels

   I believe my life is like that of any other self absorbed teenager living in an age of  an ever evolving technological era. Everyday I spend my hours glued to a computer or television screen staring at the endless abyss of flashing lights and beeping sounds. I talk on my cell phone until my cheeks burn from the overheated batteries and I blast my ipod and radio on full capacity to drown out the mundane sounds of society. However, this summer I took a trip to one of the most beautiful, breathtaking, and captivating places I have ever seen. My trip to Yosemite National Park opened up my view of life and filled me with a sense of serenity and peace I have never felt before.
    I live in Sacramento, California so Yosemite is just a couple of hours from where I live. I was actually super excited to be going to Yosemite, but I had no idea what to expect. Our first stop was Half Dome. That morning Half Dome was covered in a background of hazy gray, an endless array of gray tinted clouds seemed to stretch over Half Dome forever,  and the surrounding mountains seemed like a perfectly painted backdrop. It felt like if I were to outstretch my hands to touch the surreal scenery before me my fingertips  would feel the slick sensation of a plastic television screen. My daily scenery consists of green shrubs and trees, whiteboards and blinking screens, to think such majestic mountains existed only a couple of hours away astonished me.
    Next we headed to the bottom of the mountain, towards the valleys and meadows of Yosemite. Truly, the captivating scenery of the bottom of the mountain was as wonderful as the view on top. The brilliant rays of lights that poked through the cloudy sky illuminated the mountain sides and brought a warmth that engulfed the whole valley. When we stepped out of the car I took a deep breath and inhaled the fresh mountain air. Oh how rejuvenating the cool wind felt as it caressed my cheeks and rustled my hair. I closed my eyes and inhaled the raw, robust smell of the open earth. I looked up towards the endless sky, enclosed all around me by the deep mountain sides. I felt so little. Being surrounded by giant stone walls, a boundless canvas of blue, and a sea of lush greenery, my troubles, my anticipation and anxiety about school, friends, and family all seemed so insignificant, like they evaporated into the blue abyss.
    Often times teenagers are wrapped up in their own world too much, more concerned about what their friends think of them, the latest fashion, and the latest trends. In a society where teens are attacked in every corner by the pressures of school and society, one must always be on the offense. But that summer, underneath the brilliant sky, surrounded by the rugged mountains, and greeted by the gentle winds, I felt at peace. My world, my dim little world where I felt that my problems were greater than anyone else’s, was opened and introduced to a world of greater wonder. When I closed my eyes underneath the canopy of gray mountain peaks and blue skies, my problems felt so unimportant. The mountains did not judge me, the trees expected nothing of me, and the sky gave me freedom to be me. All clichés aside, standing there in Yosemite park that cool summer day, I truly felt as if I was one with nature.

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