In a servant's heart

In a servant's heart

And why making sauce matters

If you enter Yosemite from the south, hit one of the turnouts for this amazing view.


The other evening, I was washing my wife's car, and one of my neighbors popped out to say hi. It had been quiet up and down the street, and my neighbor's appearance broke my trance. I burst out with, "Isn't this the perfect summer evening? I mean, out washing the car in the driveway, the sun is setting, and the bugs are singing. Isn't this great? Now this is summer!" My neighbor, John, agreed and went on.


The thing is, I enjoy washing the car for my wife. It's something I take pleasure in. Several years ago, she bought this car as a gift to herself for "making it" in the corporate world. Of course, it's a nice car, and she loves it. Having it sparkly clean makes her feel extra special. When I finish with her car, I get that feeling too.


Washing a car doesn't take much thought, so I have time to consider other things. It's meditative, I guess. After my conversation with John, I started to think about a post a friend had written on Instagram. It was about making gravy. No, not beef gravy or chicken gravy. Rather Italian gravy. You know, Sauce!


The kind of gravy isn't important here so much as why he was making it. You see, he had just lost his nana. She was shy of 108 and active into her nineties, only slowing down at the century mark. Now, it's sad to lose someone, no matter their age. As my friend Jaime wrote, he thought it better to do something, to be of service, than to sit in his feelings. So he made gravy. He wrote that he can do it with a servant's heart and be of use to those he loves. It's such a beautiful sentiment.


For a long time, I wondered why I enjoy doing something as mundane as car washing for my wife. Hell, run it through the carwash and get it over with it, right? When my friend wrote about his nana and the gravy he was cooking to work through his grief, it became clear to me. There is no greater gift than to do something that has meaning for the one you love. The action benefits all.


To close, I'll leave you with a quote from Jaime's post.


"I get confused and frustrated and sad in pretty much the same proportion as everyone else and when that happens, I try to be of service. and cooking is something I can do with a servant’s heart. because unlike reckoning with emotions or dynamics or change, when I cook, after a while I can stop, and serve and hope deep in my heart that this is enough, but also be content that one thing is finished & that I have been of use to those I love, and that if I can’t figure out how to help beyond these few hours, at least for a short while nobody will be hungry. being sad is hard enough on its own, man. have something to eat. you’ll feel better."


This week I have three photos from Yosemite National Park to share with you. All three are works in progress. They are all composited from several exposures to achieve a panorama effect. I have completed the retouching, and color grading the sky is the next step. I may include one of these in my gallery. I haven't decided yet.

At the top, above. From the south entrance to the park, on Wawona Road, there are several places to turn out. This is before entering the valley proper. I suppose it's to whet your appetite for what is to come. You can view some of the significant features of Yosemite from this vantage point, and it's quite exciting to see.
Below, top. This image is the iconic scene of Yosemite. The waterfall on the right and the valley laid out below. On Wawona Road, there is a long tunnel the road goes through. Parking and a viewpoint are immediately after exiting the tunnel on the north side. I made six exposures for this scene to try and replicate the majesty of Yosemite.
At the bottom is one of the waterfalls, as viewed from the valley floor. I was near the Swinging Bridge Picnic area for this photo. I looked for the name of the falls and came up empty. If you know the name, please let me know.

A view of the Yosemite valley from the north end of the Wawona tunnel.

Even on busy days at Yosemite, it is possible to find parking along the valley roads. This view is near the Swinging Bridge Picnic area.