When we arrived, it seemed as though the whole park was sleeping. It wasn’t just that it was nighttime; in the layer of winter snow that diverted the bulk of the crowds elsewhere, the often busy national park had settled into a rare peacefulness and quietness. A few days later as we drove out, fresh snow fell like stormy lullaby, replenishing the frosty blanket and lulling the park into a deeper, colder sleep.
The road had been empty until we came across a stretch where a few cars had stopped alongside it. What are they looking at? We pulled over to see. In the misty distance was a Half Dome sprinkled with snow.
Winter in Yosemite is very different from the other three seasons. There are significantly less people to contend with and there’s an atmosphere of sleepy calm that urges you to slow down. The slowness incites an even deeper reverence for it all.
I’ve never been a winter person; I’ve always preferred the more overt joyfulness of the other seasons. But in those gray skies, snowy peaks, and general dormancy, I had a heightened appreciation for nature’s ability to know itself; for its ability to accept and utilize and beautify whatever the sky throws its way.