Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Smoky Mountain Love Story

This Valentine's Day, I spend with my love. I dress carefully in many layers, tugging on tobaggan and gloves. Yes, for Valentine's.. for my love is the Great Smoky Mountains. I fear with the weather, I will be rejected. Yet, as I approach, the gates stand open wide. I find the trail I seek and head down it's snow covered path.
As with any love, there are times when the going isn't easy. In these times, you must search for the beauty. The cold air, the frigid creek tumbling over rocks, the snow lined trees.. the mountain had dressed in it's finest for this day.
My love welcomes me. It delights to feel my steps crunching in fresh snow, while I enjoy the gentle caress of its cold air on my cheek. While most may be put off by the icy water, I slide my glove off, slipping fingertips through liquid crystal. I'm exhilerated by the feel. Breathing in the crisp air, I feel it through my body. Using tongue tip to capture snowflakes that land on lips, I feel alive. An awakening.
Tilting head from side to side, I study the mountains that rise on. I would love to explore. The mountain says to take what it offers.. a safe path through this wonderland. It becomes a climb. The mountains close around me, holding me in their embrace. Bending, I get a handful of powdery snow. Another climb, leaving my heart racing.. as any love should. By entering unmarred snow, I go places no one else has within its heart. Having reached as far as I dare go today, I turn around. The mountains understand that as my strength and courage grow, I will move further. For today, among hardships, with it's tenderness and beauty.. I have made progress.
Even with the chilly air, I remove the toboggan, so I hear the sweet nothings the mountain utters as I leave. With snow covered steep hills, it quietly warns me to be careful. It has given me the soft trickle of the stream to guide me out. I gaze longingly off the trail. Thousands of sagas are carved into this land. I appreciate the solitude. I appreciate it's sharing itself. It appreciates my acceptance in this barren time.
As I near the end of walk, I'm elated at the time spent. The mountains whisper, "Until next time." I smile softly and walk away.

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