I am a mountain girl. So it’s no surprise, really, that my soul settles every time I make my way from these South Carolina flatlands to the echoing peaks of the Appalachians. I need merely see those distant shapes through the windshield to feel their familiar call: We’re here. We’re always here. Welcome home.
At that moment, I let my heart go, to soar along the great blue ridges.
My husband’s heart soars, too, a fact that still surprises me 11 years into our marriage. The son of native New Yorkers, he spent summers in Connecticut with his Italian grandmother. Hockey and sailing and clam-digging, it seems, are more familiar activities to my Monetti husband. Yet where does he now feel most content?
There, in my mountains.
Just this summer, we spent a week hiking, swimming and roaming the back woods around Cashiers, North Carolina. Last weekend we returned to the area, a Labor Day getaway with our dear friends (and football tailgate buddies) the Rojeks. The house we rented was so tucked away, so remote, a distant neighbor we came upon (thank heavens) in the deep dark night got in his four wheel drive and led us there.
(We’re still toasting to this kind stranger five days later.)*
I feel so at peace here my husband said the next morning as we looked toward the forever horizon.
We both stood there quiet for a moment.
I think it’s because everything, as far as the eye can see, is so … unmanipulated.
I kneaded the thought for a while.
It’s just as it was created he said. Just as it was meant to be.
Ah, yes. Exactly.
**Fun Sidebar Story While I had this Good Samaritan in hand, I had to ask the obvious question: So…do you think it’s safe for us to do some hiking here around the cabin? It’s pretty remote. I mean, should we be worried about bears?
He did not rush into his answer, considering my question for a good long minute before offering:
Umm. I think you’d probably be okay. I mean, sure there are bears. But they’re just black bears.
And that, my friends, was all I needed to know.