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We're driving home after dinner this evening, watching the storm clouds build off in the west. As we crest a hill on the highway, in the distance I can see the purple contours of the Blue Ridge Escarpment under the bruised sky of sunset. This view never fails to make my heart beat slower, and it is oddly comforting, knowing that these hills have always been, and always will be. One can't help but feel protected from whatever lies beyond them. When I was a little boy, I thought that was the top of the world, that nothing existed beyond those hills except more hills.

Most of my family are from the Piedmont, the mill villages, the red soil where cotton grew and the rivers were slow and muddy. My father wanted to move up here, closer to the mountains, but not so close that you can't step back a little and enjoy the view. I have been here most of my life, and this is my landscape just as much as the flat farmland is to the south.

When we arrive home, darkness is gradually beginning to overtake our yard. I put my lab on her leash and take her out, despite her protest due to thunder rumbling off in the distance. The mosquitoes are welcoming me home. They are so glad to see me there in the edge of the yard, that they land on my bare legs in coveys while I wait for my dog to do her business.

The storm is getting close now, and the lightning is getting more and more intense by the minute. My dog drags me into the house, and nearly knocks the back out of her kennel to hide.

My daughters are now playing inside games, their ideas of chasing lightning bugs squashed by the inclimate weather.

In my recliner now, I pick up a book of collected nonfiction by Jim Harrison. Though my wife hopes the storm ends soon, I secretly pray that it lingers, at least long enough for me to read a few essays before bed.

Comments

  1. While wandering about as a Vagabond eight or nine years ago I took up residency in Haw River, North Carolina. Only for a brief time did I hike some of the roads through the Piedmont.

    ReplyDelete
  2. During 2016 & 2017 I wandered about Ontario, Canada. This year, not so much. I use a cane now, my balance is off, and I stagger about like a drunk man. My pack is much lighter these days. I am slowly deteriorating with time, muscle mass leaving me behind. I still have travel on my mind, finding myself reading walking guides to the cities I find of interest. Usually where there are bookshops, museums, cafes and pubs.

    ReplyDelete
  3. During 2016 & 2017 I wandered about Ontario, Canada. This year, not so much. I use a cane now, my balance is off, and I stagger about like a drunk man. My pack is much lighter these days. I am slowly deteriorating with time, muscle mass leaving me behind. I still have travel on my mind, finding myself reading walking guides to the cities I find of interest. Usually where there are bookshops, museums, cafes and pubs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tom, I have always loved to travel and see things that interest me. I love to walk and explore things, and I have goals if hikes I want to make before I die, but I'm not in the shape I once was or need to be, but I hope that one day I can muster up enough energy to do some of the things I want to do.It sounds like you've had some very interesting experiences, and I like to hear of those kind of things. I love historic places and I never pass a bookstore without checking it out.

      Delete

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