On the trail from the Tuolumne Meadows store into the campground is a tiny clearing among thick lodgepole pines. Here the sun hits the ground only from mid-morning to mid-afternoon, a much shorter time than out in the open meadow. Even here, though, the moist ground is covered with a thick carpet of flowers.

Everywhere, life thrives. On the windswept alpine heights mats of flowers flourish, hugging the ground. Lower down, forests cover mountainsides, with their rich ecosystems of plants, animals, birds and the microscopic life that holds them all together. Out in the hot Central Valley, tall grass waves. In the desert, hardy desert plants persevere and flower. The sea is a roiling cauldron of life.

The amount and diversity of life is beyond comprehension. The life force that makes it grow, move and flourish is awesom. And I, and each one of us,has this life force in us and are part of this wonderful whole. What a gift and blessing!



About David McCoard

After earning my MS in geology I've done various things including managing the ski touring program at a small lodge in the Sierra. In 2010 I retired from Contra Costa College in California. I've always been fascinated by the mountains and nature and have spent countless days hiking, backpacking, climbing and skiing in the Sierra. The spiritual insights I've learned there have set the course for my life. Now I have time to share them and strike up a conversation.
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