This year we flew to Greenville, SC where the Curmudgeon and a friend met us at the airport with the Curmudgeon & Friends bus. From there we drove to Asheville, NC, did a bit of touring the mountainous region of the Blue Ridge Mountain Parkway and then the Biltmore Estate. Next we spent three days in Gatlinburg, TN where we explored Great Smoky Mountain National Park (and never did find out why the E was dropped from SmokEy...), and spent a day at Dollywood, an amusement park with lots of entertainment as well as rides. Our trip was marked by the high temperatures that have marked this summer - which made the water rides all the more inviting. After that we started home, heading to Roanoke, VA and the Shenandoah National Park. We left there on Saturday, drove to Bethlehem, PA and then came home on Sunday.
As always for me, it was the natural world that gave me the greatest joy - seeing flowers, butterflies, a couple of deer, even a black bear at a distance (no photo), and appreciating the wonder of creation. In my emails upon return, I found a lovely poem which I am sharing below as it reflects all that I felt.
As we open to our selves, our lives, and our earth as sacred, something changes.
As we allow the spirit of the earth to touch us,
When we live in contact with the trees, the clouds, the moon and the soil
When we know that the animals, and the plants, and the rocks are our neighbors
Then at that point something precious begins to awaken.
The forests are cathedrals and the birds are the choirs.
We experience at that time all forms of life as part of a great fellowship.
And we realize that a tremendous privilege and joy has been given us to live harmoniously
with the whole fabric of creation.
~ John Robbins
If you're interested, you might tab over to the photo page for a few pictures I took that speak to "the whole fabric of creation." They're in the last several rows of pictures - along with one surprise! I hope you too are having a summer of delights and blessings!