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We took a long weekend to drive my twelve year old up to Western North Carolina to see the Fall leaves all along the Blue Ridge Parkway for the first time. Growing up in Florida, she hasn’t been exposed to much of a change in seasons and we most certainly don’t have any mountains.
Going to the mountains this time of year is one of my absolute most favorite things to do. Looking out into the mountain overlooks and scanning the layers of reds, oranges, and yellows stretching out above the clouds is breathtaking. It is just another example of the Creator’s handiwork in all its splendor. When the sun shines through the trees they seem to glisten like colored glass and is just so incredibly beautiful to me.
We ventured out on some small hikes through well traveled trails, and then we also went over to Mount Mitchell State Park. The summit of Mount Mitchell boasts the highest elevation this side of the Mississippi and being along the “nature trail” feels like something out of a children’s fantasy story book
I know I have gotten lazy and am simply not in good physical shape these days so a couple of days of hiking in these various places with steep grades and what seemed like a million steps seriously kicked my ass.
But when I stopped complaining about the burning in my thighs and the steady dull cramp in my calves long enough to really look around, I could feel the nurturing warmth of the trees all around me.
Did you know lichen can be as much as 4,500 years old in the trees up there? I read that on the sign along the trail and suddenly felt so incredibly blessed by the wisdom surrounding me which seemed to reach out and smile to me in a warm embrace.
There is an ebb and flow to everything; a taking and receiving..sometimes I feel as if I have grown so much and evolved into this spiritual, peaceful being, but mostly I find myself looking back at recent situations and berating myself for seeming to still be so asleep.
It is all a part of the journey I suppose. I took a deep breath, trying to bring the mountain air all the way in to my toes and I gently placed my hand on a tree nearby and whispered my deepest gratitude in communion with it.
What a miraculous time it is to be alive!
Since we stayed in the Cherokee area, we were surrounded by Native American gift shops, etc. I told my daughter what I had read weeks earlier about how the feathers in an Indian headress were earned as a recognition of demonstrated bravery, etc.
I bought her a little headband with two feathers in it and told her how proud of her I was for how well behaved and cooperative and patient she had been on this road trip, as well as for how well she was able to appreciate the beauty in nature all around us. She was excited and very grateful for this small token.
I put a feather in my own imaginary cap and smiled. I need to be more gentle with myself sometimes. Two steps forward, one step back..and on we go.
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I am a 43 year old mother of 3, living in Florida with my partner and youngest child. Like the mythological phoenix, I have been reborn out of the ashes of my former way of life and have, for the last several years, set out on an exploration of self expression through visual art and creative writing. I am immensely grateful to feel a part of every living thing in existence and the emergence of a growing evolution of consciousness within and throughout. I am interested in all aspects of energy healing and spiritual transformation and have just recently become a student of Reiki. I understand there is always a choice and I try to choose love over fear at every turn. I am grateful for all of the other women in this group and for their ever present support and guidance. Jennifer Bothast