Into the dark

Let me start by saying that I am not afraid of the dark.

That being said… I have atrocious night vision. Permaybehaps from sun damage after living in Florida for so many years. Maybe I was always this way – I honestly don’t recall. It seems to take forever for my eyes to adjust even to dimness, let alone the pitch of black that comes with the deep woods.

But as it stands… I cannot navigate the dark easily.

But I am not afraid of it.

Many people are… many people should be. There are… things… that reside only in the dark. The shadows are their refuge, and they slither out at night. It is maybe boldness… or faith… that I am sheltered from these things. But they exist, whether you believe in them or not.

I killed the engine of my car. And as the lights died away, so did my ability to see. I could hear the sounds of the night. The rushing of the river nearby, the call of the birds, the song of the occasional cricket.

I could also feel. The chill in the air. The pressure that settled around me. That sense of being watched. That judgement of whether I was a threat, or a meal, or nothing more than a passing being.

There was something in the woods, but the flash of the lightening bugs did not reveal it. The tenuous light clinging to the horizon line from a city miles away did not reveal it. The faint, precious glow of by the stars did not reveal it. Only the inherent instinct that we never quite grew out of as we evolved revealed that something was there.

But I am not afraid of the dark.

Because I know without the dark, we would not appreciate the light.

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Song of the Mountain

I don’t know why I continued driving tonight. I struck out in the hopes of snagging some sunset photos. There was just enough dust and clouds in the sky I hoped it would be beautiful.

So I turned.

Down the road to the highest peak near me.

I’ve lived in the Smokies for over a month now… and today was the first time I took the road to Clingman’s Dome.

I knew immediately I would get no vibrant sunsets tonight.

Instead, it was like driving into another world. The clouds settled heavily around the road, giving the drive a surreal feel.

I pull around and park. I’m thankful that I thought to put on long pants (considering it’s been in the 90’s) and grabbed my flannel. And I started walking.

I’ve walked through clouds before… but there was something almost foreign about the trek up to the dome. I’ve summited many a mountain, some over 10k feet… but this was the first time the thin air got to me. Maybe it was the clouds, the added moisture in the air.

Like snow on the ground, the vapor absorbed the sounds of my footfalls, even the rustling of the leaves in the breeze. I could only see about four feet ahead of me in places. The fog was oppressive, and at least a little spooky. And even though I knew there wouldn’t be a view… I continued to the top. All the way to the observation deck.

I can’t tell you why my feet carried me there, but I’m thankful they did. Because on the way down, I heard the Mountain’s song.

You’ll often hear me humming on the trails. Nothing in particular… or rather… maybe it’s very specific. A song that I hear in my head. It’s different every time. It’s like the spirit of each mountain sings it’s own song. Clingman’s is proud and eternal. It builds to a crescendo in the wind and ends on a hanging note.

You’ll only hear my out of tune, quiet hum… but what I hear?

It’s a full orchestra. If I could compose what I hear… but then maybe that’s part of the magic. Part of the mystery. Maybe the song is different for each person.

I don’t remember the songs once I leave. Though a couple of times I recorded myself humming. I doubt I’ll ever do anything with them. The song the mountains sing are far more elegant than anything I could produce. I’d rather listen to them where they belong. 20180630_211820

Summertime Blues

I have a computer again. I mean, this day in age… we almost are never without one considering our phones are as powerful as computers…

But I have a real, honest computer at this point. Which means….

Well it means I’m just going to have to come up with new reasons to procrastinate about writing. HA! As if having a computer in the past has helped me.

Once I get everything updated… I truly do intend to continue writing. There’s something comforting about the feel of your fingertips on a keyboard. It’s been since probably October… I’ve missed it.

I realized something over this last season. I think I knew it before… but it was so blatantly apparent that I could no longer shrug it off.

I didn’t write because I wanted to share my stories… I mean – sure that’s part of it. But I wrote… I would lose myself for hours, days, weeks behind the keyboard… because I wanted to be lost. Because I was running away from the world. Because the land beyond the keys was everything that I wanted it to be, made it to be. I was hiding.

I didn’t have a reason to hide this winter. Sure there were stresses and problems and everyday life… but I was happy. I wanted desperately to enjoy every minute with Murphy and Ethan and Chloe while they were here – and I did. I didn’t miss my time with the keys. There was nothing to run from.

So I need to find a new reason to write when times are good, because otherwise this will never happen.

And for the summer… while I’m isolated… I will try and knock out as much as I can.

But thank you for this winter and spring… thank you for showing me how to appreciate life as it happens. For giving me a reason to stay grounded.

Thank you

When I first started this blog, I would go through and individually thank the new followers, or commenters or people that liked what they read. I got away from that because it started to grow and I started to get busy. And as things got busier, I stopped posting as much, stopped adding as many tags… and I noticed I’ve lost quite a few followers. Now, this could be that many of those were the eroneous robots strewn about the internet and someone finally did some housekeeping.

But regardless… I do want to thank everyone that does stop by for a read. This was never really meant to be a source of entertainment, but if someone happens to find pleasure in glancing through then I’m always glad to know it.

This last year has given me so much to be thankful for. I find myself daily thanking the universe, God, Goddess, Flying Spaghetti Monster or whatever tickles your fancy. Of course it hasn’t all been sunshine and rainbows…. but those storm clouds and bonechilling days help us to really appreciate the good we have. All it takes is focusing on all of those simple good moments.

Don’t give up

I completed a dream today. One of those little life goals that we set for our selves. Ever since I was a little girl, I told myself that I would hike the old Mitchell trail. It starts in the black mountain campground and travels up the ridge to the summit. And today… I did it.

Well today and a little of last night. I started late last night and camped in the most peaceful place I’ve ever been. Ther only noise was the sound of a distant rushing creek.

An owl woke me up just before dawn and I took a little time to wake up, make some tea and get hiking. I made it to the top, set up my hammock and chilled out for the day.

The hike was steep. I’m exhausted. But it was so worth it. It’s the most beautiful mountain imaginable. It smells really good up there. It’s the sort of smell that creates nostalgic memories that you never forget.

Bring on the sun

I wasn’t expecting you. I saw you immediately. I think I was sitting I  the dining room, still wide eyed and out of my depth. But I watched every move you made, I couldn’t look away. It was almost like I knew you, but I didn’t even know your name. 

What I did know, was that you were hurting and you wanted to be left the fuck alone. I didn’t know why, but I could feel it. The anguish that rolled off of you was palpable, and I was already struggling. 

So I kept my distance. 

I discovered who you were shortly after. You spent most of your time on the front porch with a cigarette and a book. 

So I kept my distance. 

I avoided approaching you at all costs. There were other people I could get to answer questions, and in time I became one of the people answering questions for others. You’d been gone on hitch after hitch. And when you returned, I  almost didn’t recognize you. 

You were still the most beautiful man I’d ever met, that hadn’t changed. But something inside you healed over those few short months. And for the first time, I saw you smile… And it made me want to cry it was such a welcome sight. I asked you if hell had finally frozen over, and we both laughed. 

That weekend changed everything. Well, not JUST that weekend. I gave you a ride, and it was your turn to notice that I was hurting, and I was lonely. Only you didn’t keep your distance. You asked me out to dance… And dear god I almost told you no. I almost decided to stay in feeling sorry for myself… 

But I was lonely… And while I wasn’t really interested in yet another one night stand, I’d been crushing on you since that first day I saw you. 

I didn’t really expect to see you after that night, but I was still lonely… And you actually responded when I’d txt you. So I did. And I slowly got to know you over the next month. I wanted to see you again, and you were up for some fun. It would be nice to have a friend with benefits around till I could sort my life out.

You hit a snag that weekend, so I lent yoy my car for the next few weeks while I was working. We spent the next few weeks together. And I still felt like I’d known you before. 

Some people give off different impressions. Many people I’ve known with depression are like little gray clouds. They might rain, they might just stay dreary. Some are like roiling thunderheads, passionate and deep and desperate… But you were something different. You were like the sun rays breaking through after a storm, taking in that first deep clear breath. Carefully treading on a path of healing. 

I hope I’ve helped you on that path, helped coax a little more sun from those fading clouds. Because I can’t begin to tell you all the ways you’ve helped me. 

I’ve lived more in the moment these last few months than I have my entire life. I’ve learned to appreciate myself and each day regardless of what the storm may bring. Because I’ve seen that the clouds can break, and whether that day be good or bad, there’s a promise of sun. 

At some point we’ve become much deeper of friends. I know we’ll forever be integral parts of each other’s lives and futures. I’m thankful we found each other. And I’m so incredibly excited to see what this year unfolds for us. 

Bring on tomorrow… bring on the sun. 

Enjoying the little things

Are we cogs in a machine? Threads on a loom? Or are we really creatures of complete free will guided by nothing? 

No matter what your belief, or theory, or faith… we are here. And things happen out of our control or desire.  What we can control however, is how we manage these. 

I prefer to savor the good moments. A few seconds holding the hand of someone I love. Randomly playing in a pile of fallen leaves. Or sitting on the front porch, drinking coffee and watching the sunrays dance across the dew on a spider web across the yard. 

I have my dark moments. When the magnificent shadow smothers me to the point I can’t breathe… sometimes it takes just that glimpse of brightness to remember that I’m stronger than the shadow.