The park is filled with facts and figures. El Capitan is so many yards, feet, and inches tall. There are so many species of bird, buck, and squirrel ransacking the foliage. How many and how shushing quiet are the various lean thin needles of the pines, oak-digger, yellow, sugar-pine, whose branches take to the sky with all the varying stratagems of sunbathers angling for the perfect tan. This year the volume of waterflow down Yosemite Falls is greater than the past fifty springs have seen. Whole generations of park tourists–and even expert guides and the denizens of wood and cliff–have not seen the strength of spray that greets my face this lucky year. Rainbows leap from domes of snow in rare display. This land of stone is softened by a film of wet, a woman’s touch, a something that, however counted, however added up, remains measureless.
How shall I measure my time spent loving you, dear Earth? Is it the length and weight of my coffin? Expellations of breath per hour, the number of days enlivened by thee, or the number of days I will be denied? Sweat softens my brow as I manage another tricky, slidey slurrying step down the long walk from the Falls.