It is amazing to finally see trees again. I knew that I missed them, but I had no idea how much. Southern California is basically a big desert. The cities in that part of the country feel like they were built just because there was nothing better to do with all that empty land. When you reach Bakersfield the scenery finally begins to change from scrub brush to a never ending orchard. The orchard extends far into the north and gradually shifts into beautiful rolling hills of grass and low trees. Finally, as you make the ascent into the mountains surrounding Yosemite the pasture land turns into a forest of massive evergreens.
It is in this evergreen forest that I have determined to take up a new hobby, naked hiking. There are several reasons for this new hobby of mine, not the least of which is my white butt. When you are naked, you become much more aware of your environment, which is a good thing if you are a photographer. Naked hiking also makes you much more cautious about other people, which can in turn make you more likely to notice wildlife. Finally, I already did it in Big Bend and I would hate to break my streak (pun intended).
Alone in the Dark
Ostrand Lake is the first truly solo hike that I have ever been on. The hike is a slightly strenuous 6.2 mile hike to a beautiful mountain lake. I arrived early and selected a camp site that was on the opposite side of the lake from the handful of other people in the area. After making camp, I took a quick dip in the clear waters, and then stretched out nude on some smooth rocks, with nothing but some ants and a pleasant breeze to keep me company.
That evening, after enjoying a can of beef stew cooked over hot coals, I got out my bible and began to pray and read. I had a question that needed answering, and a request that I wanted to make of G-d. Is it wrong to beg G-d for something that you know is not right? This is what I needed to know as I lay there doing exactly what I was wondering about. I spent nearly an hour pleading with G-d, wondering why he designed me to have such strong desires that I could not fulfill at this time. Wondering why he built me so that I longed for exactly the kind of person that I cannot be with.
The only true comfort that I had was a passage in scripture that kept coming to mind where G-d promises that he has plans to bless me and not to hurt me.
“L-rd, I really need you to do something for me. I need you to change circumstances so that I can be with the one that I long for, or I need you to provide me with someone better.”
I feel selfish, like I am doing something wrong, when I pray like that. I don’t believe that it is wrong to beg of G-d when begging is all that you can do. David seemed to beg God for things on a regular basis.
What do you think?