Hey ya’ll! Yes, that is a southern greeting! And yes, I am in the south. The southern portion of the Appalachians in Northern Georgia, more particularly, the southern Blue Ridge Mountains.
When I say I am in the mountains, I mean I am in the midst of a majestic mountain forest sitting on the back porch of a cabin that is far more remote than I realized when I rented it. It’s a hard place to get to, a single lane dirt and rock road the last few miles, but it is so worth it.
The cabin is spectacular relatively new construction, full of modern conveniences, including a hot tub about three yards from left elbow. Yet, it features many rustic touches, like an artistic barn wood design from the fireplace to the top of its vaulted ceiling.
Patty and I are thrilled to be here and to be away from the pressures of her job and our regular covid restrained routine, escaping some of the madness of a nation and world experiencing a perfect storm of crises.
It’s a vacation postponed from early May due to covid, thinking that crisis would be much improved by now. I know. We went anyway. There is no safer place than out here in this vast forest. I can strain to see the road, which has zero traffic and barely see the roof of another home, which may not even be occupied. We are alone!
So, here I sit in the middle of a majestic forest listening to the constant sound of the water rushing over the rocks in the creek just down the path. It’s still! One of those huge red-headed woodpeckers just flew by. A hickory nut fell from a tree. Squirrels rustle in the leaves. A branch cracks. Birds chirp in the distance. They are gentle, unassuming sounds, light years from the excited voices of the politicians and cable news anchors. Thank God!
I feel like my soul can breathe here for a change. There are things we can do, but nothing we have to do. I am thankful for this reprieve that is even better than I imagined.
Friend, I am now moving from description to prescription. Back when I was in church work, there was an old saying, “Now he’s gone from preachin’ to meddlin.”
Here it is. We all need a break, maybe only a short, periodic version of what I am experiencing right now. Keeping my soul at peace will again become a challenge when I re-enter the regular, real world, but we all need to maintain our inner selves. We have to figure it out, carve out a little slice of time and find a place so we can keep perspective. You might walk, read, watch a movie, drink a beer, chat with someone who gets you, or pray.
Anyway, just a friendly reminder to stay well on the inside.