“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings; nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn…” ~John Muir~
Ahhh…the mountains. As many times as my sis and I have hiked various pathways throughout the majesty of various mountain ranges, our most recent and brief trip into the Great Smoky Mountain National Park strongly illustrated Mr. Muir’s point. Inclining to the top of Clingman’s Dome was my first solid hike since my heart episode in March. The altitude and the steep climb were a test of my slow but steady determination to move forward in my journey. While Pop happily sat below with his coffee, snacks, and people-watching in the early morning mist, we trudged straight up to the view. Although covered mostly in clouds and smoky mist (as expected in the GSMNP), this was the start to a glorious day and what a way to begin!
There were other paths we explored along our meandering drive throughout the Park. We took roads less traveled (momma would have loved it); stopped along any place catching our eye, and gleefully explored. One particular surprise was a glorious chapel in the middle of a secluded section of dense trees; we literally stumbled upon it. Going inside, I captured a view through the original glass window. Wilderness through a window…WOW! If you’ve been in the mountains long enough, you’ve likely experienced the same overwhelming moment while looking out upon nature, smiling, at peace; sublime in the stillness of the soul. Nothing more is needed.
As the seasons begin to shift and 2019 descends into various holidays and celebrations, may we all take precious moments to simply savor the lessons of mountain peaks and valleys: expand horizons, reach new heights, keep a sense of wonder, inspire, cherish, and seek the beauty in this journey called life… because it’s true, the best view always comes after a challenging climb.