The drive from San Diego to the Sequoia National Park was by far the longest and most exhausting drive I’ve ever driven. At least so far.
It was worth the while though, Clara and I were determined to get the full American experience and camp like authentic road trippers.
The Californian country side is genuinely what you may call paradise on Earth, and no one will disagree with you. In between building-high sequoias, RV’s, tents, and a constant flow of tourists armed with trainers, caps and BBQs there is an infinite number of dreamy rivers, cascades, waterfalls and breathtaking cliffs.
The air is fresh, the people are friendly and even the lack of a proper shower is nothing compared to dipping into ice-cold water. Needless to say we didn’t shower for three days, but we managed to attempt swimming.
For me, visiting the Sequoia National Park became less about these magnificent trees and more about connecting with wise mother nature.
This is where the descriptive part of this blog ends, and the personal, emotional, slightly sociological rant begins. You are welcome to scroll down to the bottom to see the pictures.
I have had this entry on hold for many months. I wrote it and rewrote it, I went back to the pictures to edit them and reedit them, trying to create something I still can’t quite comprehend. However, as I walked back home tonight with the London winter wind cutting my cheeks I realised it was because I have been afraid. I think I still am afraid. I realised that the pictures you will see below were the product of exhaustion, of fear of the unknown, of fear of not being able to stay strong and drive Clara safely. I was afraid things back home were not going to be the same. I was afraid of the change that was about to happen, and although I couldn’t yet know about it, manifested itself through invisible bears.
When you love someone (and when I say love I mean this gut clenching feeling for someone) and you lose them, your world falls apart. What makes it worse, is that you can foresee it. It is a little bit like watching the storm grow in the distance, like feeling the wind before the hurricane. When the storm gets you everything around you disappears. Maybe you don’t want to see it, or the rain drops are blinding you, but nonetheless you are alone. I guess this is what most break ups are like. Or maybe it’s just me.
I wish I could have understood what our visit to the Sequoia National Park really meant for me then. Maybe I wouldn’t have been so irritable, maybe I would’ve decided to stay there for longer. Maybe I would have stopped caring and I could have prepared for the storm.
I can’t go back to that moment now, but I can see that there is beauty even at times when you feel like nothing can save you from the hurricane. And one day, when you try to fight it back, you’ll realise the hurricane was nothing but a tiny August storm: it made a lot of noise, it was scary, but it didn’t make any real difference to your life.