Life mimmicks nature

Published 10:02am Friday, January 4, 2013

“What would the world be, once bereft
of wet and wildness?  Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet,
Long live the weeds and the wildness yet.”

~Gerard Manley Hopkins, 


Silver winter skies and a steady cold drizzle bring another New Year to our small town of Saluda: twinkling little lights still draping the bridge and shops, leading over the railroad bridge toward town’s charming old buildings.

New Year’s Day, I drive along Holbert’s Cove Road, winding along to Lake Adger for brunch. There’s no traffic at all hovering on my bumper, so I don’t feel any guilt over driving slow, looking at moss, branches, tangled vines, mistletoe clumps growing up high, an occasional empty hornet’s nest dangling, waterfalls, possible caves tucked in mountain sides… the brisk creek rushing along the roadside over rocks and fallen trees. It’s peaceful, and I enjoy the solitude of the drive and time to think about the New Year and life.

After a delightful brunch, I take another scenic slow wind home through Green River cove. This drive is even slower, and the majestic river is devoid of tubes, kayaks and people today. I’m grateful that the river is solitary this day. Wild turkeys stroll through fields and roadside, their dark iridescent feathers shimmering quietly in the dim light. I like that: how quiet it is, the crowds of summer gone. I recognize spots from my big tube excursion one summer, remembering rocks and rapids, sand bars, tree roots, getting lost down river. Up on the ascent to Saluda, I shift down through the switchbacks, my humble Volkswagen was made for this … she swings hard around those hairpin curves, delighted to climb up, up, up. Through the trees, dreamy cloaks of mist hang low over the sea of mountains- it’s a winter day, the first of a whole new year. Like twists and turns of the winding road, life has swung me hard back and forth along those curves; yet like the old VW, I keep hanging through them, determined to make it up. Metaphors seem to find my thoughts today, that twisting drive very much like life indeed … and the view along the way worth it all. 

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