Eight hours in a car can be brutal. I have learned how to make the trek from Oxford, MS to Dillard, GA a little less taxing with audio books, pod casts and a voice recorder, but at some point along every Georgia journey I start thinking about selling the cabin. “How long can I keep this up? Why do I continue to hang on to that “place”?” My questions get more pressing as I maneuver through Chattanooga traffic! Then I hit the Western North Carolina part of the trip and I start to understand my attraction to this part of the country. It’s the mountains.
What makes looking up more mystical to me than looking down? An argument exists for both. Looking down brings our attention to what is here on earth. I seem to make strong friendships with women who are master gardeners, with and without the certificate. They are fascinated by growing things and appreciating what is in the earth without their efforts. Not I. It is dangerous to look down at the ground when your mind so easily wanders like mine. As I look up at the horizon and further up into the skies, I think my mind feels most at home and I am grounded there. I remember the beloved verses of Psalm 121:
121 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
2 My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.
3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.
6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
8 The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.
I roll along into Western Carolina and I am in the Smoky Mountains, the Great Smoky Mountains, to be more precise. I am always awestruck when the rolling hills change to mountain ranges on the horizon. The peaks seem to meet the sky and clouds can often obscure them. It is March now so the trees are still barren but even the cragginess has its own message. I know from experience that it won’t stay this way and the next time I make this trip the vista will have exploded with the colors of Spring. When I pull onto Lamb Road, I know I will not sell this year. I cannot even imagine a time when I would.