Peeling away the layers  

rm_knoxman1959 59M
4 posts
8/21/2006 10:48 pm

Last Read:
9/7/2006 9:38 pm

Peeling away the layers

In my previous post I spoke about an experience and observances in the city. The following weekend I decided to spend time in the mountains that I love. I’m an amateur (and stress amateur) photographer and I enjoy taking a road, seeing where it leads, taking pictures along the way. You just never know what surprises you might find!

I stopped several times taking pictures of the mountain streams. The sights and sounds of the flowing water through the dense forest are very beautiful and relaxing. I passed several “old timers” in their waders fly fishing in the morning sun. I enjoyed watching the practiced ballet, balancing in a swift current, the concentration on their faces, the poetic motion as the line curved gracefully to its target. I couldn’t help but be entranced by the show of strength standing against the current combined with graceful delicate motion. It was a good morning for photographs!

I eventually found myself on the road leading to Clingman’s Dome, the highest peak in the Smokies. On a whim, I took the turn and soon found myself parked at the trailhead to the summit. I hadn’t been here since I was a child, vacationing with my parents. Even though the summit was completely covered by clouds, I decided to take the walk to the top. The short trail to the summit still had quite a few people taking the trip to the top, despite the limited visibility. Since everything further than 30 feet away was invisible, encased by the swirling mists of cloud cover, my attention was drawn to my more immediate surroundings. A patch of red bee balm flowers standing in the midst of a field of yellow black eyed susans yielded several opportunities to photograph the hundreds (and I do mean hundreds) of hummingbirds attracted to the splash of red in the high mountains. My standing there snapping pictures drew attention of the passers by to the sight they had not noticed before. As we all watched the arial ballet going on in front of us, my attention was drawn to my companions on the trail.

There was the usual mixture of people sharing the sights while hiking to the summit. There were the young couples, their whole lives in front of them, walking hand in hand, so absorbed in each other that they saw little of what was going on around them. There were the senior couples, many still holding hands, taking in the sights and sharing things each noticed with the other as they walked. There were families with children, parents urging their children along (the trail is VERY steep) wanting to share this beautiful place with their loved ones, just as my parents had when I was a child. For a moment, the layers piled on by my “adult” life were stripped away and I was able to, once again, re-live, if only in my mind’s eye, my life as it had been as a child, walking with my parents on this very same walk 30 years before, to a time when I was young and so much in love, to the time when I shared similar experiences with my own daughter. I was also able to witness my vision of the future, or at least what I would hope it to be, with the older couples sharing everything with each other as they walked the path to the summit, evident to all who bothered to notice, that passion was still an important part of their lives.

I still hope to find that special someone. As I said before, it was a great day for photographs!

rm_meetmeinATL 55T
6 posts
9/7/2006 8:40 pm

Inner Peace sweetie. You took the time along the trail to "smell the roses", and grasp what is really important in life--family. You almost make me feel guilty, as I am guilty of getting caught up in the day to day "stuff" that distracts from what is truly valuable and cannot be replaced, those eternal moments with our loved ones.
Sara Leonne

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