I spent the last week of August in the mountains, on the edge of the Shendandoah National Park.
Click here and play a song while you read!
Compared to my usual environment it was another world. Just 2 hours away by car, but a century away in lifestyle. Its the first place I’ve been in some years with no cell service, and of course no WIFI! I felt the loss of instant connectivity acutely for the first day, and then it melted away. With it went the need to know what time it was.
I was raised in flat sandy marshes, so the rocky places are a thrilling magical mystery to me. I am amazed and intrigued and astonished by the rocks and boulders, and love to connect with them. How did they come to be where they are? What shaped them? What are they made of, and what do they know?
Then there’s the visual experience. When young, I studied the dutch painters for their landscape was as flat as my own. Later in life I had the pleasure of living in the Finger Lakes of NY, and learned the ways of waterfalls.
But these are the Appalachians: believed to have been the highest mountains on earth roughly 460 million years ago. We enjoyed musing about the billion-year-old rocks.
So these boulders recall a great deal of time, in their journey from sharp peaks as lofty as the Himalayas to these rounded pebbles (the size of an elephant, or a house, or a mouse) softened with moss and lichen, worn by eons of rain. Hillsides softened with trees. Valleys filled with the stories of life, love, struggle, triumph and loss.
Look how we change with time. It’s an amazing story to see everywhere you look in the mountains.