November 9, 2021
By Amba Gale
Being in Yosemite National Park with my parents was one of the first memories that I have.
Here, you see a photo of my father, most likely taken the first time my parents took me to Yosemite, at Happy Isles, where the Merced River flows from the High Sierra Mountains on its way to the sea. I was about one year old.
All my senses awakened there, in the beauty of nature and that Great Land. I remember that my whole body felt Happy, Awake, Alive. I returned every year.
My favorite, favorite place there, amid so much beauty, was Happy Isles. While later in my life, I would hike to Vernal Falls and then Nevada Falls, it was enough, then, to simply be near the river.
There is a Bridge there, where I would sit in my stroller, and later stand, and walk across, and listen to the wondr’ous music that the Merced River made, rushing down and around the Giant Boulders. Delight became my middle name.
It was there that I first experienced the miraculousness that listening to Nature, being in nature, surrendering to nature could bring to my very Being. While I certainly did not have the words at the time, the feeling state lasted for months after returning to my home in L.A.
It was one of the greatest introductions to life’s greatest gifts, that my parents ever gave me.
November is the month of my father’s birth and my father’s death. He was 98 years old when he passed. I celebrate and honor him deeply, through this posting.
By Amba Gale
Your beloved Merced embraces you
in its arms,
Just your name
brings back to hear
the delightful pleasure
of hearing your voice
laughing for the very first time
Just as your river flows
gurgles, and prances,
around, above and under
Great Boulders that give you your voice,
like white horse mains
leaping, flying, cavorting
over the hills,
Just like that-
Like the bubbles and whirlpools,
white water falls and rushing speeding non-stop racing
my heart, too, races
my ears open to your sounds of singing
and all my senses awaken to your Voice.
Just being in your presence gives me joy.
I was very young when
I was brought to you
for the very first time.
My father and my mother
delighted in your laughter,
mingling with my own.
Today, your youth still
and younger I grow
just thinking of you.
Happy, happy isles
Singing in the sun.