Smoky Mountain Majesty

I just returned from a long weekend in the Smoky Mountains, and ahhhhh! What a rejuvenating few days! The cabin where I stayed with my friend Lynn clings to the side of a mountain at the top of a curvy, steep, one-lane road that sent apprehensive chills up my spine the first time I saw it. Lynn zooms up the road without a qualm, because she’s done it so often. A dense forest crowds the cabin on all sides, so close that you can reach out and pluck a leaf from any of the spacious wooden decks. We spent the early mornings sitting on one of those decks, sipping coffee and watching the rising sun’s rays filter through the leaves to paint the landscape with deep hues of green.

After our morning coffee, we worked. Lynn is a psychologist and college professor, and she had important-sounding stuff to do that I can’t even begin to understand. I’m working on a book, so I claimed a space on one of the cabin’s screened porches where every time I looked up from my computer I could soak in the inspiration of God’s handiwork. I admit I became easily distracted watching leaves perform their graceful dance with the wind, but I managed to get a lot written in spite of that.

The afternoons were devoted to hiking. I’ll talk about our hikes in my next Journal entry. Trust me, I have a story to tell you!

Evenings were spent back on the deck, watching the sun set over the tree-covered ridge on the other side of the holler. There’s a special kind of peace that comes from being surrounded by nature on all sides, from breathing air that has been filtered clean through thousands of trees before it enters your lungs. Best of all, there’s a peace the slips into your soul with every breath.

I thought it was entirely fitting that my Bible reading Saturday morning was Psalm 95. It’s pretty awesome to look out across a stunning mountain ridge and read this:

“For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him.” (Psalm 95:3-4)

I’m so grateful to my friend and to my God for an inspiring retreat weekend!