The world according to Bren…

I continue one of my blog  features with a description of my “happy places.’    Every creator, whether writer, visual artist or peformance artist, needs to recharge his/her batteries.  Creative energy is not infinite.  It is not fair for us to expect to be able to continue creating/writing/sculpting/etc. without inspiration.

For me, getting out into nature whether physically or mentally, really helps me with this challenge.  My existing “happy places” are shown here through descriptions, stories, history and pictures I’ve taken.   

Sentinel Beach on the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California

In my humble opinion, one of the most beautiful places on the planet is Yosemite National Park.  Apparently many of my fellow citizens of the planet Earth agree with me because it is unarguably the most visited national park in the U.S.

I could write fifty blog posts extolling the jaw-dropping wonders of this beautiful place.  The valley, of course, is the most accessible and “in your face” about the marvel that is Yosemite.  After all, who could ignore a five-story high waterfall (followed by at least three more just as high or higher) or massive sheer cliffs of granite all around you?   Even the yellow meadows, which now stand in the place of the ancient lakes that once dominated the valley, are breathtaking.

I am fortunate enough to live within a day’s drive of this amazing place.  And as often as we can, my family make it a point to go camping here.  We usually choose to stay outside of the valley “on the the rim”–our launching point often near Glacier Point, which affords the most breathtaking vistas of the park and a front-row seat to Yosemite’s unforgettable and signature monument, Half Dome.

Here, however, I will talk about a feature in the valley, on a small beach located on the banks of the ancient Merced River, which flows through the valley.  If you’ve ever visited Yosemite, you have no doubt rafted down the Merced.  It is one of the easiest ways to get an hour long tour of the park while lying on your back and gazing upward.

After floating down the meandering Merced, your raft trip comes to a stop at the golden-tinged Sentinel Beach, a narrow stretch of sand that faces majestic El Capitan.   It is here, that, after an hour and a half long trip maneuvering the river, we settled for lunch on a picnic bench.

Afterwards, the boys enjoyed some play time on the beach while I sat under a golden-leafed aspen and soaked up the energy and beauty of this place.  It was a perfect summer day and the fresh breeze blowing through the valley made a person glad to be alive.   I pictured what this place might look like in the dead of winter, that same tree devoid of leaves, the whole place silent and covered in a thin veneer of ice and snow.

It was a peaceful place, even with all of the activity going on around me.  Those yellow-golden leaves swaying in the wind, the easy gait of the river and the cold indifference of El Capitan surveying me from on high.

My current work in progress (which was in its nascent stages when I was last in Yosemite) takes place in the Lakes District, which I consider to be England’s equivalent to Yosemite.  It was very inspirational on that level as well.

For more amazing pictures of Sentinel Beach, go here and here.

Stay tuned to this blog for more of my happy places–which range from Europe to the West Coast of the United States, to Alaska, to the Northwest.

To see my other Happy Places, click The World According to Bren under the categories

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