Yosemite Peaks and Valleys

I have been cataloguing this summer by adventures. In my mind it hasn't passed by in weeks or months, but by weekends and out of town excursions. Maybe that's how it's almost September and I'm wondering where this season has gone. 

I think it's also how I never got around to posting the snaps from this early summer venture, it was too sandwiched between others. Regardless of the reason, it's a little story worth telling.

I think it was early June when we met up in the California mountains. We represented four states- Oregon, Idaho, California, and Tennessee. It had been several months since we had been together, and then it was in a very different circumstance.  This fireside reunion felt just right. 

We ventured all over that park in those few days. We climbed and cooked and watched a few sunsets. 

The places were grand, the company grander. While I cling to the recollection of overlooks, vistas, and that unrestrained Yosemite beauty, the memories that stick most are the seemingly mundane-

Smokey sun glow through the trees, Ben Howard playing in the car, raw campfire talks, wine in plastic cups, unhindered prayers, slow mornings, silent hikes because we collectively couldn't breathe and talk at the same time.

There are so many different types of friendships. Work friends, family friends, common-interest friends, I've-known-you-forever friends. All of them have different holes to fill. This crew is comprised of experience friends. We are all vastly different, but grew close during a mutual defining experience (for us, this was our six month discipleship school). So much has changed for us all of us since then, but that season of change and growth will always bring us back together. They are all like the most valuable souvenirs of a sweet time. 

I'm so thankful we had this gathering, this new experience. I hope that over time all those friends we've made through adventures, through years and jobs, can create new experiences and build off of the old ones, build off of each other and hope shared around campfires and break room tables. We all have purpose here, and we're all so much more woven than we realize.

It doesn't always take peaks and valleys to remind me that, but often it does. 

So. Cheers to friendships of all kinds, to wine in plastic cups, and to 100 year of the National Park Services! Thanks for giving us places like these to explore, process, and grow. 
_____

As I type this we are about to board a plane to another sort of wilderness. See you soon, New York!