On the third day of complying with Napa County’s “shelter-in-place” edict, my mind drifted back to happier times at Yosemite Valley. Typically, during the Class orientation session on the meadow beneath the watchful eye of Half Dome, I shared Anne Frank’s reflection:
“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be.”
The contrast between Anne’s quasi-imprisoned life and where we were sitting was almost too schizophrenic to resolve.
For many very strange and mysterious reasons, the Biodesign Class was privileged beyond all imagination. Sitting in a sacred circle, with young curious minds, contemplating the works of John Muir and Mother Nature’s magnificent Yosemite Valley, often generated thoughts and emotions that defied description.
We were sitting on a meadow where American Indians lived perhaps 3,000 years ago, and the Awahnechee Tribe dated back 800 years. Perhaps their spirits conjured up Black Elk’s prophecy:
“I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being. And I saw the sacred hoop of my people was one of the many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy.
It seems that as a response to the covid virus, many people are following Anne Frank’s advice, even if they may not be going alone. Unfortunately, by flocking back to Nature in droves, many of the State Parks, beaches and recreation areas had to be closed.