By Ian Vorster
National Catholic Reporter
September 1, 2020
A pocket meadow near the pinnacle of the Golden Staircase climb gave me pause as I labored up 94 switchbacks, midway through the John Muir Trail. A few small waterfalls tumbled by, each creating its own diminutive ecosystem. The meadow, speckled with a few hardy whitebark pines, looked like something a team of playground engineers might try to emulate. Sculpted by heat and cold, it left me with the sense that this was precisely where God stood when he said, “It is good.”
Needing time to reflect, I shed my pack, shoes and socks, and dipped my feet in an icy eddy of Palisade Creek. Nearby, a trout hovered delicately in the riffles, just five pebbles long. As I watched it, it exploded from the water to snatch a bug midair. And in that moment, I felt a remarkable stab of pleasure. I began to tear up.