Pinnacles National Park is just two hours drive from San Jose, the home of Silicon Valley, and the city which I call home for the last few years. One spring Sunday morning, when I woke up by the beam of morning light on my eyes, something in me wanted to follow that light. I went out and saw a beautiful morning awaiting with its wide open arms. I wanted to taste that morning glory slowly like one drinks a glass of wine. So, away from the hustle and bustle and ever busyness of city life, wilderness beckoned and off I went without any plans and expectations. Here I present a photo essay, or perhaps more appropriately, postcards from Pinnacles National Park.
Category: Nature Page 2 of 6
After the rendezvous with Redwood trees in the Redwood National Park, California – the tallest trees on the earth, I feel I am still in a trance and am finding it difficult to return to my daily routine and digital devices. The solemn scene of majestic redwood trees and the pale sunbeams dulled by the fog is so pristine that rampant stimulations of materialistic modern life feel obnoxious.
The zeitgeist of modern life gives us a quick fix to all our problems in three steps. 1. Set goals. 2. Tie that goal with a number. 3. Strive to reach that number. Think about your health (calories, blood sugar level, IQ..to name a few), financial and social worth, screen time per day, quality hours with family, steps taken per day…just name it! Such a fix can produce feelings of apathy and powerlessness for sure. I am also not immune to this system. But I found an escape from this tiring number game. I escape to nature. I escape to mountains, oceans, forests, gardens, deserts, and sometimes to the middle of nowhere, far away from cities. And if it is springtime then refreshing green leaves and wildflowers everywhere beckon not just me but my pen and my diary. This year I am welcoming spring, with California wildflowers blooming in every corner.
To muse, to creep, to halt at will, to gaze
~ William Wordsworth
While living in Switzerland, I used to go for long walks. The paths are well marked and as varied as the scenery – in fact, they quickly become an end in themselves. Switzerland has over 65 000 kilometers of waymarked trails. I walked along lakes, through vineyards, under the shadow of mountains, and along small streams. One thing which accompanied me on my walks was divine beauty; everywhere and in every corner. I enveloped all my walks and kept them secured and safe in a deposit called the heart.
Before driving through the Blue Ridge Parkway in reality in my 30s, I drove through it in my dreams during my twenties! My dream was to drive miles after miles amidst unbound beauty and was not limited to any particular country. In reality, when I drove through the Blue Ridge Parkway, I felt exhilarated not because it is one of the most scenic routes in the USA but because the reality connected me to my long cradled dream. Eventually on the way, on many occasions, my thirty-something me met my twenty-something me.
I strive for an hour of silence every day. It has become an essential need like air and water for me for a mindful and conscious existence amidst a world full of noise. The constant noise from the surroundings and electronic gadgets perturbs my concentration and my time for reflection. As a result, I often spend days without writing a single sentence and this inability to write hinders my inner peace. When it happens I simply pack my bag and get lost somewhere in search of silence.
Blowing Rock is a beautiful mountain village on the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, USA. Fall is a popular time of year to visit Blowing Rock. Fall foliage in the Blue Ridge Mountains is one of the most beautiful fall displays in the world. The Blue Ridge of North Carolina is one of the top places to see fall colors.
My moments with General Sherman, the largest tree on earth is invaluable. I sat on one of the benches that surround this giant sequoia tree in the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park in California and looked at it for some time. Strong, enduring and imperturbable, I whispered to myself while looking at it. Slowly my eyes followed the trunk of General Sherman upwards and ended up seeing a beautiful blue sky.
Me to General Sherman –
I am not as lucky as you. I don’t get to live under the open sky and under the sparkling stars at night. ~ Chirasree Banerjee