Our little family is joining my big family in the wild of West Virginia for a long weekend. My family has owned a cabin there since my dad was young and my grandparents retired there a few years ago. There is also a significant part of my extended family who lives and grew up within the same 10 mile stretch. Essentially it’s a valley full of my relatives, nestled between two great mountains, in the middle of nowhere.
It’s been awhile since we’ve seen those mountains or breathed that fresh country air. The last time we were there, Waylon was just a tiny baby, too young to appreciate camp fires, wildlife, and his parents being truly unplugged (there is no cell phone service).
I don’t talk a lot about the part of my roots planted in the south. I suppose it’s a means to protect it. The south is weird; full of back-woods, back-stories, and ideas about the world that I don’t understand. But there is also a lot of good there; good people, good food, and a landscape that inspires the very startling reality that this is real life. This forest, this stream, this mountain peak–this is the center of the world. Not my cell phone, not Facebook, not even my sleepy suburban town.
There is a reason why authors, artists, poets, and dreamers retreat to the woods. Nature has always provided hope of something more. Hope of life beyond this life, a universe beyond our own. It is refreshing.
See you next week.
In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia. -Charles A. Lindbergh