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Lent 3: Still Learning from my Journey to Half Dome

When I came to my website to write my blog for today I was caught off guard by some deep thoughts that were running through my mind. What triggered these thoughts was my website's cover photo (You can see it at the bottom of this page too.) from when I was at Yosemite National Park in the summer of 2017. Honestly, I have this photo everywhere, on Facebook, my computer screen background, my phone screen, and on my wall in my room. I love the picture for many reasons. In order to share my thoughts and reflections about this photo, I need to share briefly about the journey that brought me to be able to take this photo.

As we were planning our trip to Yosemite, Steve, Sharon, and I decided to apply for permits to do the Half Dome hike/climb just in case we got to the park and wanted to do the tough hike/climb. There was a lot involved in the hike and I definitely did not train for it. On the way up there were two waterfalls (Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls) and multiple overlooks along the 7-mile hike. The day we decided to do this hike Sharon and I determined we would go at least to the second waterfall and we would wait for Steve to go all the way to Half Dome. When we arrived at the second waterfall for some reason I changed my mind. I decided I would try to do the whole hike/climb.

What spoke to me today, as I reflected on it, was how hard the hike up to Half Dome was that day. Wow, was it a long, tough, scary journey. The hike up took almost all day, 7 am - 4 pm, but the hike down was much shorter, 4 pm - 9 pm (In the picture below, you can get a sense of the length of the hike.). By the time, we were 3/4 of the way up, I was ready for a nap. Many times on our journey, I laid down for a quick rest, Steve continuously encouraged me to keep going. As hard as the whole 14-16 mile journey was, it was more than worth it. The view and accomplishment were so much to take in. Did I mention the waterfalls, I love waterfalls and we got to see two throughout our journey.

Towards the end of our week in Yosemite, we spent some time at Glacier Point. This was a beautiful place to spend an afternoon and evening. We even watch the sunset while we were there. I remember as I stood looking at Half Dome, the disbelief I had, that I had actually climbed that granite dome. As I stood there, I remember saying to myself, “If I can do that, I can do almost anything.”

Today, as I reflected on this journey and on my Lenten journey, I was overcome with a sense of strength and joy. On my Lenten journey, I have been trying to live in the moment. Some days are harder than others. Sometimes I set to work on a school assignment and as I start reading, I find it so complicated and confusing that I want to give up. Sometimes, I tell myself to workout and find something else to do instead. Other times, I find it just hard to get going in the morning. When I see the photo of me looking out at Half Dome, I remember that I was able to make that hard journey and when it was over, it was worth the strenuousness and pure exhaustion. If I climbed Half Dome in a day, then I can overcome the challenging moments that I face daily. That day, I lived in the moment and decided to make a challenging journey to the top of Half Dome. Now, each day I need to try to attack my challenges like I did that journey of hiking and climbing.

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