Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #108: Sanctuary – Mountains
Mountains are my sanctuary, specifically, the enveloping cool, green, coziness of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina and Tennessee. Each visit I feel my blood pressure lowering as a calmness washes over me.
I love the cool crisp air, sounds of a running stream, clouds that lay low in between the valleys and peaks (thus the name, Smoky Mountains), the bright blue skies of fall against the vivid colors of the changing leaves, and the shifting palette of greens bursting forth on the trees each spring.
I got to really know these mountains during my freshman year at Western Carolina University, the only school I could find back then offering both a journalism degree and a mountain setting. We would head off to study by isolated mountain lakes, slip our sodas into the running streams to chill, and take Sunday afternoon drives just to see where the roads would lead (one notable time, right to an old-timer with a rifle).
A really special memory was heading off with my friends Meta and Leslie, driving across a mountain stream to get to Meta’s family cabin, killing time target shooting, and just sitting on the porch talking and enjoying the scenery. Then in a total comedy of errors, we had to figure out how to build a fire or freeze during the cold spring night.
For the years of memories and those still to come, the mountains will always be my sanctuary.