Sunday, July 11, 2010

Wisdom from the Top

"Cherish your vision and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprint of your ultimate achievements." ~ placard at Mountain Crossings

"Often, it's not the load that breaks you down...it's the way you carry it."~ placard at Mountain Crossings

After a rough week that culminated in a gawd-awful Saturday, Piedmont Writer suggested I spend some time in nature. It was just the shove I needed to get off the pity pot and out the door.

Twenty-five miles from my home, Mountain Crossings at Neel's Gap is housed in the historic Walasi-yi Center sitting directly on the Appalachian Trail at an elevation of 3,108 feet. The drive there is beautiful, lined with hardwoods and pines, rhododendron and mountain laurel, on a winding highway with curves and cutbacks, a motorcyclist's dream.

As I drove, my muse took the reins and connected some dots. Lee of tossing it out, had suggested I read Flannery O' Connor. Yesterday, I began. Aha. One dot connected. Zoe C. Courtman wrote today of tension and the power of "Please don't: ________". Another dot connected.

At Mountain Crossings, I bought two books, "Georgia Trivia" by Stephanie Watson and Lisa Wojna, and "A Treasure of Georgia Folklore" by Ronald G. Killion and Charles T. Waller. Nancy, at the counter, is now my new friend. We share the same Sabrina sunglasses and she was kind enough to suggest I leave my car and walk the trail. I took my Sabrinas and "Georgia Folklore" along with me.

Finding a rocky outcrop just off the trail, I sat and read excerpts from my new Treasure. And was transported back to a time when I spent hours in the woods: reading, playing make-believe or just be-ing. And, guess what? Another dot connected.

Driving back down the mountain, I stopped at Boggs Creek with a notebook and pen, my camera and my keys. I shed my sandals and sat on the rocks in the middle of a butterfly playground. Black swallowtails and tiger swallowtails and cabbage whites fluttered around me. With my feet in the creek, I listened to the melody of the water rushing over rocks and felt raindrops splash me lightly through the shelter of the trees.

Sweetly, in that serenity, my ravaged heart healed.

I see my path more clearly. I have a boundary to set. And I have a manuscript that is a living, breathing thing. It's full of life, and more, it's full of surprises. It may even turn out to be a literary 'thing', instead of a light summer read, as I had thought. We'll see.

To those friends who held my hand through this long, dark night: thank you. I am in your debt.

Pictures from top to bottom: Mountain Crossings, Walasi-yi Center, Neel's Gap; overlook at Neel's Gap; Swallowtail butterflies at Bogg's Creek; Bogg's Creek - and yes, those are my feet. :)

8 comments:

The Words Crafter said...

I am very happy to read that you are in better spirits. I hope that your healing continues and I wish you much success on your literary thing...

Jemi Fraser said...

So glad that nature helped - it does have a habit of helping us get perspective and healing our hearts.

The plaques at that centre have the most beautiful quotes - love them. And the butterflys? Heavenly :)

Renae said...

What beautiful pics! I'm glad the nature experience has lifted your spirits! Good luck with the writing...Great post!

Olivia J. Herrell said...

Thank you all so very much!

~Olivia

Suzie said...

Those pictures are gorgeous! I'm so envious of your surroundings! :D I just have a lotta red-dirt and prairie's around here! But, that red-dirt does tend to get in our blood. :D

I'm happy to hear nature helped heal you and connect some dots (with Lee and Zoe's help) :D

Mary said...

Nature can be so healing.
reeks tend to wash everything away.

Nicole MacDonald said...

Ooo such stunning pictures! I love the one with the butterflies, you should crop it and frame it :)

Catherine A. Winn said...

This is the kind of day I love. Great pictures! Thanks for visiting my blog.

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