Monday, June 20, 2011

University of the meadow

The year I was eighteen, I worked in Yosemite National Park. On my days off, I would sometimes hitchhike up Highway 120 to a little meadow I'd discovered on a trip to Tuolumne. I never saw another person in that meadow; it was an oasis of perfect peace and solitude. I would stretch out on the grass and read for hours. I read Mark Twain, Emerson, George Eliot, I read Joan Didion and James Thurber. I read whatever I could get my hands on, borrowed, bought or traded. When the shadows began to lengthen and a chill crept into the air, I'd walk back to the highway, put my thumb out and hitch a ride back to the valley floor. Years later, when people asked me where I went to college, I didn't have a good answer, but I always thought of that meadow and everything I'd learned within its quiet green walls.

10 comments:

farmlady said...

How wonderful that you have this memory and that you were able to do this safely.
Wilderness is deceptive and we love the idea of being entirely alone in it, but the truth is that being my yourself is a very vulnerable choice and there are preditors everywhere...both man and beast.
Please be careful.

smartz said...

So wonderful to see your latest post. I've missed your thoughtful take on life. Welcome back!

Amber Lee said...

this is so beautiful, thank you!

The Querulous Squirrel said...

You are an amazing person. So grateful for your blog.

Charlotte said...

So enjoyed this post. I love Yosemite, I love Tuolumne (but can never spell it) so the meadow in between appeals. Also your blog, which i found on Chicken Corner, appeals, with its thoughtful memories and observations. Thank you.

Stauf said...

Welcome back, Tai! Having back your beautiful pieces of literature is great in so many ways. Thank you.

bloglily said...

I love knowing this about you, Tai. xo

AdamCF said...

I'm always glad to see new entries here. Aerophant is a calm oasis amid the wasteland of the Internet.

Tai said...

Adam, that is high praise indeed, coming from the chief archivist. Do the recent posts on Heliopoli mean that you have returned to the excavation?

Lily, thank you! I strongly urge all Aerophant readers to explore the Bloglily Summer Reading Program. It's making me realize just how much I've missed things like rules and points and categories and prizes. Bravo!

Julio, another old friend; always lovely to see you here!

Hi Charlotte, I am thrilled to welcome a reader from the wonderful Chicken Corner. I confess, I have to look up Tuolumne every time I use it.

Squirrel, Amber and Smartz, thank you for those kind words.

Dearest Farmlady, worry not: that's what the wings are for. Also, I think I may be the most dangerous creature in the wild, next to the wolverine.

AdamCF said...

Thanks, Tai. I might revisit the city once in a while, but not often. I'm out of frequent monorail miles.