Every summer our family takes a trip for a “Family Reunion”. Sometimes we are celebrating one of our children graduations or a wedding or just visiting a place none of us have been before. We typically rent a huge house and we all pile in and after three days….well…..you know….but we do have fun and talk all night and great memories are made. This year we went to Yellowstone National Park in Montana, Wyoming & Idaho. Yes, it is so BIG it covers three states.
I cannot begin to explain how very small a human feels when being in the midst of such “Grandeur”. The sheer size of the land. The limitless sky above your head. The roar of the water. The size of the wildlife. It makes one feel truly insignificant when you a human are within these places. I found my eyes drinking in all of this beauty like one who has been a desert their entire life. I have visited over 30 of our National Parks and every one of them creates the same feeling inside of me.
I brought along my astronomic high powered binoculars to view the stars out there in “Big Sky” country where there is no city light for hundreds of miles and I was not disappointed. Now I am an amateur astronomer, but, I could only find the big dipper because I have never seen so many stars in my entire life. The grandest of all of them was seeing the “Milky Way” for the very first time. I was in tears, and shivering because it was 3 am and cold and I was in my night clothes and coat. There are many lines in movies which say things like: I cannot describe….I am not qualified to describe…and so on and I admit I am the same. This one particularly clear night, I was overcome with the sheer quantity of stars above my head. I had to lie down on the ground just to view them all. From horizon to horizon a painted canvas of millions of stars in so many colors (I didn’t know the Milky Way stars had color), I could not even talk. My husband who knows how much I love star gazing just squeezed my hand and nothing more needed to be said.
There is more in a National Park than one can take in even in one week. I am definitely going back with a tent this time and my big telescope, my sketch pad and my journal. My well is full to overflowing just looking at the picture book I brought back home.
I think a man said it best; her and his wife were sitting in one of the picture windows of the Yellowstone Hotel and viewing their photos from their own day, I over heard him say to his wife: “….these picture are fabulous, but they do not convey the experience of being here in Yellowstone….” I whole heartily agree!