Could someone please turn off the jets?
I am enjoying my time in the mountains of North Carolina. My parents own a log cabin on the back side of Beech Mountain, elevation a little less than 4,000 feet. The closest town is Banner Elk with a whopping population of around 1,000. I’m sure that number increases in the summer, October and ski season, if the snow is good.
I sit on the deck and take in the beauty of the mountains. I’m surrounded by a sea of green punctuated by the occasional spot of color from a flower, bug or salamander. I listen to the birdsong in the early morning or the crows and hawks in mid day. Perched up in my chair on the deck, I am far removed from civilization. An oasis away from the rest of the world.
At least, until a jet flies over. Or a motorcycle races by on the road far below. Or the trucks in the development next door begin their workday trek up and down the mountain.
As much as I enjoy this retreat. As much as I savor the time away from my normal routine. I am reminded over and over that I can never truly get away from the world.
There are always jets, motorcycles, trucks or lawnmowers. The background noise of the television is present. The internet is easily accessible.
My time in the mountains is nearing its end for the season. In a few days, we will be heading back south to Florida. No more green mountains. No more cool mountain breezes. No perch from which to sit and ponder the world. I think my little dog will miss it too.
I am reminded in scripture that we weren’t meant to live apart from the world. If we want to be a part of spreading the kingdom of God, we have to be around people.
I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be as one as we are one. John 17:11 NIV
The 1999 hit In It Not Of It by Christian group Avalon echoes the message. Click here to listen.
I may be leaving this mountain dragging my feet but at least I have a few more memories to add to my memory bank. Here are a few:
- Fireworks on top of the mountain
- A hometown parade celebrating America’s Independence
- Grilling and eating meals out on the deck
- Lazy, rainy mountain days
- Rainy mountain fireworks (read about that in my previous post)
- Taking our pup to his favorite park for a walk and some creek time
- Eating guacamole made table side at our favorite Mexican restaurant
- Outdoor concerts — from Scottish rock to classics to indie country (music just sounds better outdoors, doesn’t it?)
- Visiting our favorite hundred year old general store
- Finding treasures at a nearby church rummage sale
- Spotting animals — deer, woodchucks, chipmunks and rabbits
- The magical view of hundreds of fireflies dancing in a field at dusk
The very best memory is sharing all of this with my daughter and her husband. A sweet time together before they head off across the pond for a year of graduate school.
So, goodbye mountains, at least for now. I look forward to seeing you in October in all of your jewel-toned finery. Please have the apple cider and pumpkins ready for me.