He said I was myself again there. Something in the air there opens me up and lets me free to see and hold and feel, and then bring it all into myself. He was right.
The rich, tangy singe of wood-burning on the wind welcomed us, and all weekend, the rains and mists that make mountains so mystical fell. The lodge of full, barked trunks beckoned with quilts, porches, and a warm fireplace.
I’d forgotten the pleasure of quiet, dark sleep, and the magic of waking up to birdsong. What I’d waited for—opening our porch door to layers of mountains—was there when I woke. Damp porch planks in the morning fog, and a yellow fire in the stone fireplace at night, sitting in the cool morning eating eggs and pancakes as shadows stumble off the mountains----this is comfort. It was all so beautiful, and so good.
The place within this place where I lived----that will come in another post. Nothing about the Smokys is better than their hugs, than seeing how they are coming into themselves. Another post.
For now, I want to step back into the woods.
For instants of life, the woods are winner. Every inch lives, paints its place with color, movement, and the substance that is earth. We went for a walk in the woods Monday, and the density of life they hold sprung onto us, and we felt so alive.
Here are some favorite spottings from the walk. Breathe deeply, as we did.
This dude. I once read a book called The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, mostly for the title which is crisp and perfect. I listened to this guy after watching it excrete a stickiness on which to pull up the bark, but the river’s rush covered any noise it might have been creating. When its eyes wiggled out, one at a time—pure delight.
The air was heavy with the workings of chlorophyll, and so rich I nearly felt dizzy.
Cities of intricate color within moss always amaze me.
How pines displayed the rain, so still, effortless
The lace of the forest---ferns.
I know you won't believe it, but (sh!) I really love bugs. I used to collect them in jars and cans when I was little, and love traces of them still.
Forest words are fabulous. Fern. Humus. Thistle.
I think it's a reminder of the Scottish settlers who left their names and tartan in these valleys and coves.
Earthy words are my favorite. But there is one lighter, full of air. Feather.
Here we are a week out, and that air is still softening my days.
A refreshing week to you, too!