Blue Ridge


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?

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10 Comments

Enjoyed this post, Donna. We have an “Appalachian Tales” section for fiction over at Blue Ridge Parkway Daily if you’d consider contributing a short story.

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I feel the same way about the land south of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Haunting, and always calling. But I’m not from there and I don’t think I could ever write about it except as an outside. Heck, I barely know the Ozarks.

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    Well….that’s the fun of research… right? To me, just the name “Ozarks,” leaves an image or an impression that isn’t much different than Appalachian or Blue Ridge Mountains. Haunting…great word for these areas.

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How you feel about your Blue Ridge mountains is how I feel about the Tetons in Wyoming. Everything you said about yours I say about mine. The Tetons are the center stage of my first novel, which I stated recently on my blog as being dangerously close to being a drawer novel. Now quite ready yet to cover it with darkness though.

I think you and I love the mountains we love because somewhere way back when our DNA floated in another vain, of a bird, or bear or golden leaf in October, the same imprint flows in us now. The Tetons are home to me and I have not been back there in almost forty years. If I go back now I know as sure as I breathe I would forever stay.

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      I totally missed the “now…” my brain must have inserted “not” automatically.

      I think you are right. I think I must have lived there.. in the past. I don’t even know if I believe in past lives, but I’m fascinated by that possibility. I spoke to a psychic a long time ago…she said I was an “old soul.” Maybe it’s that, or maybe it’s the fact of when I look and see those vistas in front of me, I get nostalgic thinking about how many stood there before me, looking at the same view, for hundreds of years.

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      I live in a town near the mouth of the Connecticut River.. When we are on the shore of the river or Long Island Sound or even out on the water, I always think about what the native Americans saw, (the Mohegans and the Pequots), before the explorers arrived and F’ed everything up.. It’s really beautiful here but as close to the water as I have lived for most of my life, the Mountains hold my soul..

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