There is something mystical and melancholy about the Blue Ridge Mountains. From the time we hiked fifteen miles along the Basin Cove trail to reach the Caudill Cabin, http://www.blueridgeparkway.org/v.php?pg=108 to the moment we stood at Wiseman’s Bluff and were lucky enough to see the Brown Mountain Lights, these mountains have a unique way of tugging at my soul.
We come at least twice a year, and when we leave, I always think about the next time we will get the chance to come, and the next, and the next. I don’t understand the pull. I don’t understand how they draw me in, or the strong sense of place I automatically feel when gazing about. But, when I breath the crisp air, listen to the wind at the top of the trees, watch pristine water rush over a fall, I feel such a connection, yet I don’t understand it. Maybe it’s simply because it’s beautiful. Maybe it’s because the area is an enigma from an ecological standpoint. (Almost half of all the higher plant species that occur in North Carolina occur in the mountains, along with 350 species of moss, 2,000 species of fungi, 67 species of mammals, and 50 species of salamander make their homes in the Blue Ridge.)
Just about the only thing I do understand is I want to write another book that takes place here. There is solitude and loneliness , resilience and fortitude, hardship and deprivation, happiness and triumph, poverty and suffering, blessings and faith. There are those who left and never back, the ones who stayed and endured, the ones who worked the land, the ones who failed, the ones who were lost, the ones who found a way to survive.
What is it that makes us want to try and capture the essence of what we feel and observe? To feel compelled to write a story as captivating and profound as the view we see?