“You should never have left Alabama” she scolds me, never having quite gotten over the fact that we were meant to live among mountains and not in the deep, sultry south.
But there was never any doubt about it. My first hint of my calling was at a wildflower event in the Great Smoky Mountains back in grad school at Auburn. There was something in the air–a pheromone of ancient granite, perhaps–that pulled us north.
And it is the Blue Ridge Mountains more than the Ridge and Valley (the setting of nearby Wytheville where we spent 12 years) that seems offer the strongest pull to home.
In winter, the weather is both hostile and beautiful. And we feel very much at home surrounded by it all.
(Do click on the image above for a larger look. Landscapes like this lose so much in a teeny view.)