It is no wonder that the smell of the crisp cool air and the view of leaves dancing to the ground always turns my thoughts toward home. The smell of apple pie spice and the comfort of pumpkin spice lattes. October, the beginning of another season. No longer do the scorching temperatures evaporate the air we breathe, but a fresh new wind begins to blow.
Although I now live almost 400 miles away from the beautiful mountains of West Virginia, she will always be my home. Sing me a John Denver tune? and I am easily brought to tears. Wild and Wonderful – it will always be the best description of my home state.
My mother used to say that you can take the girl out of the mountains.. but never the mountain out of the girl. She proved to be right as usual. I cannot honestly say that I have the desire to return there to live, but I have learned to never say never. It will always be my home.
I quickly learned that people in the south have as much of a fascination with my mountains as I do their oceans. Strangely enough, we sometimes dismiss the beauty that lives around us. I am guilty of this, taking the mountains for granted.
The season of fall brings many memories of growing up. Who didn’t look forward to Friday night football games with your best friends? Huddled up together on the bleachers on the cold and rainy games. The best of friend time that lasted the entire weekend.
I can still remember the sounds of walking in the woods, climbing the hills with my friends or cousins….leaves scrunching beneath our feet. The only time I would do this, since I am terrified of the snakes in the summer! We would stay up there all day and only come down when we noticed the sun had started to disappear, leaving only faint shadows of the paths we had marked. Then again, we never really feared getting lost. The hills were my backyard. I could climb to the top and still look over and see my mother swinging on the front porch. I don’t know if I could do it with my own child? Her only rule was that we didn’t start any fires and we didn’t stay until it was too dark to climb down safely.
The photo above was part of my cousins backyard. I loved it here. Today, when one of the nieces posted this picture, I immediately thought “wonder where this beautiful picture was taken?” …. taken for granted once again. I can’t tell you how many times I have fished this pond, gigged frogs, skipped rocks, and many times watched family members be baptized here. But there it is…captured forever in this photo, part of my tapestry of love – my memories come in like a flood. For humor? I do have to add that this was also the place of my first experience with a “hot” electric fence – took the fun out of my frog gigging for the night. (I told y’all it was not turned off)
Chances are not likely that I will see it at peak season this year…mid October, but I will dream of it as usual. My thoughts will automatically turn towards home when I am breathing the crisp North Carolina morning air.
Almost Heaven, West Virginia…. you still hold the largest parts of this mountain girls heart, even when I am sitting with sand between my toes. You will always be home.