Redwood National Park / by Rebecca Tillett

This August I made my second trip to Redwood National Park, and so for the second time, I'm tasked with trying to describe the experience, an impossible but advantageous assignment. And even though it was my second visit, it almost wasn't in that I saw it all again for the first time through my boyfriend's eyes. The consternation emanating from him as he absorbed the engulfing scenery was very nearly tactual. At my core, in the deepest recesses of my heart, I belong to the desert. My soul will always radiate the closer I am to home, to yuccas and lava rock, and mountains shaped like organ pipes, and the biggest and most colorful skies I've ever seen anywhere. Rain will never feel and smell as good to me as it does when it falls in the desert. I'm sometimes amazed by the memories that come over me at the simple recollection of sensation (although some of them troubled or filled with enough sadness to justify my long absence).

But I decided back in 2012 that if I could choose an adopted home, I would allow the coastal Redwoods of Northern California to claim me. Excluding home itself, I've never felt more at home anywhere else. I want to dissolve into the fog, I want to drown in the lushness, I want to sit on the edge of the ocean and watch for days, at the sheer bulk of water seemingly without end and lose myself in the beautiful beautiful uncountable words that always fall short of describing it. Water in such mass has always left me a feeling little uncomfortable, lonely, small, and empty but I wasn't overwhelmed with as much austere emotion this time. Or I was but I endured it. Or I was but I embraced it.

There is nothing I can say about the trees to describe them to you if you've never seen them or found yourself in their presence. I hope you trust in my sincerity when I announce my satisfaction at that realization. It's true. I'm so utterly contented knowing there are places in this world that lie outside the boundaries of articulated description, places you simply have to see and feel and experience to know.

I'm including so many more photos in this blog post than I ever have in past posts but that's likely because, aside from Instagram, I really don't share my photos online anymore, and I suppose there's a little less joy in keeping them to myself.

[All of these were shot with my Canon 5D Mark III. To see any of these larger, just click 'em. To see photos from the trip taken with my iPhone, check out my Instagram account.]