Yosemite Valley Floor - Part 4


I see the spring.

What do I say? Over the last seven miles I've played out every way this could possibly go, from the most benign exchange to the worst possible scenario. And let's be honest, I played out every terrible thing that could have happened before I even stopped to consider that maybe, this isn't even a negative thing.

First + worst case: he wants a divorce. My two sentences before our split on this trail were enough to wake him out of whatever spell I've put him under to spend the last nine years with me. With a hiss and a turn on a dime, surely I just ruined our marriage. It's over. We'll get to the spring, discuss sawing the van in half so we can each have a slice of the memories that remain, and I leave the Yosemite valley alone, sad, a 33-year-old woman who couldn't keep it together on trail.

Okay so that is literally the most ridiculous thing I've ever considered.

Let's try again.

Second and tolerable, but not preferable: we finish this hike in silence. I fill up my water, breeze by, and keep trucking. Keep digging for what the root of this actually is. Keep reliving this in my head.

As I bend down to fill up my water in the spring, I see him cross the street. My heart flutters like it did the first time I saw him.

Let's try door 3: can I get out of my own way here?

Barry taught me how to save my own life 9 years ago when I learned how to skydive. He was the first person I felt safe enough with to tell about the rape. He has held me up, celebrated me, and held the vision for who I can become from this pile of ashes. He is always my coach.

Shiiiiiiit. I see it now.

Barry has a very Karate Kid style of teaching. Very Mr. Miyagi. He gets to the spring, we fill up our water in silence, and as we keep going, he's still hanging back. I shout back over my shoulder:

"You know, it's not fair for you to Mr. Miyagi me through this."

No response.

"My confidence has been shit all over this valley and it's not fair for you to make me take the lead, to make me find the path, to hover behind me." I continued.

"I didn't want you to be bear food." he says through a giggle.

(to be continued)