Sounds of Nature

 

nature

This morning I woke to silence

immediately losing myself

in the vastness of body and spirit.

I am reminded of the reason

I love this place.

Within seconds

I heard the echoing of a rooster

through the mountains.

I heard my body breathing,

the rain drizzling gently against my window,

the birds chirping their morning welcoming,

and the water flowing through the creeks

emptying into the vastness of space.

This is morning. This is magic.

I have become so accustomed

to the noises that I no longer hear them.

They are a background nature-filled symphony

and I don’t want to ignore them.

I am becoming a silhouette in the darkness of a rainy day

praying that I never forget this beauty.

I am content to be here

just as a musician hears notes

playing inside.

Summer is everywhere,

the heat clinging,

and each waking moment

brings sensory stimulation.

I cannot go back to the imbroglio of city life.

This is the ebb of me.

I rise and fall to the sounds of this mystical place,

gracefully dancing to all the melodies,

and the calling of my spirit

connecting to the Divine…

I am…home.

Trail Junkie

One of my favorite things in the world is hiking.  I love finding new trails in these mountains.  I love the challenge of the terrain and the exuberance of the surprises that I find along the way.  It is the reason I stay in these mountains rather than travel anywhere else.  I love being in nature.

This morning my friends, my daughter and I hiked up a new trail near the house.  The trail has been here for a while, but it was new to us.  The Florence Nature Preserve is beautiful now that spring is in full bloom.  Most of the hike is uphill and the terrain is a little challenging at times, but the surprises along the way are breathtakingly lovely.  The creeks that run along the paths are enticing.  Waterfalls cascade everywhere with the Rhododendrum trees starting to bloom with tunnels that go on forever.  The Mountain Myrtles are absolutely delightful.  It is a hiker’s paradise.

 

Last night we went on an evening hiking venture up Bearwallow Mountain.  It doesn’t matter what time of the day I go up this mountain, the scenery changes.  It is constantly surprising every one of my senses.  This is definitely my favorite hiking spot in the world.  I have a boulder with my name on it up there on the summit.  I feel closer to divinity up there like no other place I’ve been to.

 

There are things I am learning as an intermediate hiker.  Trekking around the Western North Carolina Mountains has become a surprise to my character and how I fit in this world.  I climb each trail by learning to breathe, by not resisting the tugs of my lazy muscles, and by being completely in the moment with each step.  There is a thrill in witnessing a meadow, a clearing and finding myself alone on top of the world.   The joy in spontaneity drives me and encourages me even when I just want to give up.  Just waiting to see what’s around the next curve or hill or pasture seems to participate in the exploration of my own spirit.  The possibility of coming in contact with a family of deer, or bears or other wildlife is invigorating.  Whenever I interact with nature in these mountains I seem to leave a little bit of me behind while grabbing a little piece of the land to become a part of me. In each new adventure, nature becomes the teacher and I become the humble student thirsting for more.

I get giddy when the day allows for a majestic view of all the humps and I can witness the haze from the Blue Ridge Mountains.  I also find it exuberant to find another hiker admiring the same spots.  In silence we stand, on a common ground of immateriality, separated by the grandness of this land. There are others that join me in this search for authenticity and self-exploration.  We are all stepping behind Lewis and Clark hoping to find the next place that’s virgin to the outside world.  We want to experience the world from a bird-eye view while sitting on top of a boulder or standing on the edge of a cliff. Before I moved here I don’t remember what inspired me to breathe in my own space.  Now what I do know is that I am no longer afraid of heights when before I was constantly paralyzed with fear and anxiety.  The fresh mountain air hypnotizes me in a way that I have no explanation.  The “aha” moments are so many that the cares and stress slip away in seconds.  I think each hike truly touches a part of me that compassion alone can’t reach.  My humanity finds clarity and I feel as if we are all one thread tying us together under God’s quilt.  And yes, perhaps I have become a trail junkie but it is better than anything else I have experienced in the past.