Lose Sight of Everything Familiar | Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

Green, yellow, red

you can glance outside

but remember

to keep your windows shut.

 

The noises outside never fade

Sounds of car doors slamming

startle you in the middle of the night.

 

Phones vibrate

Pens click

Water drips

 

The scenery outside this metal monster

is always the same

Fumes of gasoline puffs up around you

Glaring red and black letters

tells you the price you pay

to cover the world

in a haze.

 

You let the music rise

and flow

and fill the space of your car

every single day.

 

You’d rather not hear

the constant current of noise outside

so if only for a moment

you do manage to escape it

with tunes and notes and chords

that transports you

to a blissful place

in your mind.

 

But these moments are always temporary

grimy concrete roads littered with

floating jellyfishes of plastic

rubber tires so elastic

glass shattered for the unpredictable, fantastic

thrill of it —

 

You see this

every single day.

 

You see

the same line

of houses

apartments

lawns

stores

every single day.

 

Sometimes you wonder what it would be like

to drive straight ahead

to a land where silence is a sound you can hear

where nothing is ever the same

where routine isn’t part of your day

where you can look out of the expanse of

rolling mountains

sprinkled with snow

speckled with soaring pines

and say and believe with all honesty:

 

This is what pure bliss feels like.

 

What if…

 

What if you didn’t have to wonder?

What if you kept driving past

black puffs of exhaust

blinking traffic lights

trees stripped bare

and lost sight of everything familiar to you?

 

Rusted metal freeway rails

slowly fade

The clouds above cast

dappled shadows

on the seemingly endless

rolling hills.

 

Trailers park on the sides of the street

homes so old the walls peel apart

farming fields take over your vision

the road becomes narrower

until you can touch the branches

on either side of you

if you lean out of the window

just far enough.

 

Flash of white

you turn your head

snow is scattered light

on the ground up ahead

 

Weak trees sick from pollution

slowly gives way to soaring

majestic trunks of aburn red

tips hidden from view

by flashes of green

 

It makes you think

that perhaps some things

were meant to stay unseen

and too high up to grasp.

 

The sky seems more vibrant here

Instead of the mechanical sounds

that invade your mind at home

you hear the crinkling of deer

stepping on dried leaves

as it cautiously explores your campground

the crunch of hardened snow

beneath your feet

the soothing trickle of a stream

making it’s way down a hill

and your breath at night

drops of moisture visible

underneath the glare of your headlamp.

 

This is what happens when you keep driving

And the road once so familiar to you

turns into one

littered with fallen branches and leaves

stars splashed across the sky

reflected in puddles of melted snow

as you drive under the moonlight.

 

This is what happens

when you let yourself

lose sight

of everything

familiar

to you.

 

 

The inspiration for “Lose Sight of Everything Familiar To You” came from how the scenery outside the car can change so drastically when I’m traveling from home to a place where I can camp. Rows of houses and stores fade away to grimy trees on the side of the highway, then to cattle grazing on rolling hills, farmland, and the occasional mini town that seems to thrive in the middle of nowhere with one gas station and one grocery store.

I love long car rides — the squished feeling of having backpacks and blankets and books and other bags all around you for five or more hours, needing to put your shoes back on to use the bathroom at a gas station, and seeing a new view every time you look out the window… it’s not something I’m able to experience every day, so I try and savor long car rides as much as I can when they do happen.

And since we’re on the topic of looking out the window, I feel like the transition of a typical city or town setting to a lovely, blissful, foresty setting is one of the best parts of driving to a campground. You get to see how different the setting is every minute that passes, and nothing is ever quite the same outside the window. Once I enter a national or state park, I feel like I’ve officially left civilization behind me, and consequently, all the things that might have been stressing me back at home — quotidian things like homework and checking the time so I’m not late and routine — just disappears. The knowledge that this pure bliss awaits in nature only makes the long car ride more enjoyable, and in a way, it makes the entire car ride a journey in itself.

It’s a journey where you lose sight of everything familiar to you as you look out the window. 

I recently went on a camping trip to the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, where I got to test out my photography skills and recharge in nature. I’m so excited to challenge myself to capture the pure blissfulness and beauty of these two parks through words and photographs for the future posts on Sequoia and Kings Canyon!

The posts will be coming up soon, so keep your eyes out for them! I hope you enjoyed this poem, and I will cya next time!

~Zoie 😄

 

 

 

 

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