There are no adequate words to describe what being in the Blue Ridge mountains makes me feel like. I feel utter absolute bliss. I love it with a passion I wasn’t expecting. I’m in awe of what God has created here on this piece of Earth. How could anyone believe all this is random and not by design?
Being here in the summer time is a totally different experience than being here in autumn. Two years ago, we came in October. The cold crisp air felt amazing in contrast to the suffocating humidity of Florida. Seeing the forest merge into beautiful hues of orange and red was magic but it doesn’t compare to seeing this place in the summer. The autumn, while pretty, felt brittle and vacant. The green summer is vibrantly alive and in full motion.
There are sounds coming from everywhere all at once and in perfect harmony setting the mood like background music. The birds call out to one another from high in the trees with constant chirps, tweets and sweet rolling whistles. Everything is super-sized from the tall pine trees to the insects. Plump walnut sized honey bees zoom past us sounding like fully charged remote controlled airplanes. Wasps are a little quieter, floating by with their legs dangling lazily like tiny hang gliders. Red bodied daddy long legs the size of Annie’s palm watch us quietly from the railings of the stairs leading down to the creek. Butterflies with wingspans comparable to small birds, dance invisible rings around each other.
Every once in a while, a wild rabbit will hop out from the green, sending the kids into a crazed dash for cameras, binoculars and a strategically pre-packaged zip lock bag of carrots, and broccoli to, hopefully, lure it closer. On our last hike, we rounded a corner and surprised a doe grazing in a meadow. Amazed, we stood there with our mouths gaping dumbly, gawking and pointing at her. She stared blankly back at the five of us for a few seconds before deciding to prance back into the privacy of the woods. Foster caught sight of a flock of wild turkeys winding through the trees below us. We tracked them from the trail as long as we could before they ventured off into dark corners of woods leaving us too intimidated to follow.
There are wild flowers growing everywhere. Large yellow and white Daisies and Black-Eyed Susans, form natural borders separating the gravel road from the rest of woods. Wild Chamomile and Baby’s Breath grow in thick clusters. Flowers I’ve only ever seen thriving under a thin misty spray at Home Depot are growing in abundance here all on their own. The sweet honey suckle scented Azaleas mix with the smokiness of the wood burning from the fire pits of the scattered cabins.
I keep checking the weather app on my phone that is constantly predicting rain that never comes. Every day here has been clear and blue. It feels like early spring in Florida when the breeze gently kisses your skin and the warmth stops just short of making you to break a sweat. Today we plan to continue our exploration of the woods surrounding our cabin. We are hoping to see something great; great as in another gentle deer and not a curious bear. We are packing lunches and a blanket in anticipation of claiming our very own special spot on this mountain.