In the following years, my fascination with nature would become more and more specialized—believing that by burying myself in lab work and textbooks, I could understand where this appreciation for nature comes from. Almost exactly 10 years from that fateful field trip, I finally went back to Yosemite. Wandering the park, it felt like seeing an old friend again. And I realized as I stood standing before that gaping mouth, that while there is value in staring through microscopes, I would never be able to fully explain in words or graphs why we “climb the mountains to get their good tidings” as John Muir once wrote. The most important thing is to open our eyes and realize that, for whatever reason, we have a deep connection to the land. And that the only way to understand that connection is to be able to spend time learning and engaging in our relationship with nature.
My fear is that the fewer opportunities we have to learn from the land, the less chance there is that we will be stewards of it. The well-being of all living things depends on humans choosing to fight for the only home they have. So after years of studying biology, biological systems and how to manipulate them for human needs, I decided to pursue a career in advocacy and the law. I hope to utilize my understanding of nature to ensure that generations after me have the opportunity to step outside and admire every blade of grass.