Archive for Tennessee River Gorge

Reflecting… November

Posted in Where Angels Perch with tags , , , , , on November 9, 2008 by rodzink

The brilliant reds and yellows….  The mountainside bursting in color, previously hidden in lush green, showcased her seasonal best… We focus on the colors dancing on an autumn breeze, yet forgetting that this is the last dance.  Soon…  in a matter of days…   Barren branches will stand naked.. exposed…. the core of the proud hickories, great oaks, sycamores…. alone with neither decoration nor mask….

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We meandered the trail along the rim of the River Gorge.  The kids climbed the boulders, picked up leaves, scraped back bark to expose bugs.  Baker skirted the trail and our whereabouts…always just out of sight.  I watched him scale boulders, squeeze into crevices, and hide behind whatever he could find.  Belle stayed close… talking nonstop to me…..  Watching my own children, I dare not try and understand their thoughts and attitudes…..  I just wanted to hike… 

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We stopped occasionally along the trail….. resting….  taking in the view…. talking.  The voices of these little ones….. Their words… laughter and complaint….. disappointment and desire…..sadness and joy… their words expose them.  As they grow, seasons of growth are simply part of life….. episodes of emotional and mental growth…. and then, seasonal shedding of that which is no longer needed… the safety nets, the unnecessary…..  left behind on this trail.  They’ll keep walking, however….. new opportunities to grow await them…. us….  Nevertheless, we’ll stick together….  learn….  together.

Although we cannot see it…..  instinctively, we know she is waiting.. Beneath this dark soil…. dormant… hybernating….. poised.. Spring is coming, proving that amidst this cold, harsh, routine, she…. we… have the strength to endure.  Her innate knowledge…. the ebb and flow of life…  the seasons which pass us all… provides us with the opportunity to grow, experience, understand the nature of our world.  It is only here that we can enjoy the anticipation of budding blooms… seasons of lush green… the brilliance of temporary color….  the cold days of uncertainty… But at our core, we discover the strength and the character that is only visible when the leaves fall….. when we stand exposed.

Baker’s Whisper

Posted in Where Angels Perch with tags , , , , on January 18, 2008 by rodzink

Passing the waterfall, which seemed to suddenly appear from the rock, I dared to imagine the thoughts of Moses and the desert wanderers. Water poured forth from nothing and roared the ordinarily dry ravine. I sat for awhile and listened. Stared up into the cold morning sky. Intentionally, I tried to dream.. bring the darkness… end the loneliness… summons my children. Today, I hike alone. Turning to look up the mountain, the bluff line barely visible through the barren wood, I sought to find a distant ledge, where nothing could reach me….And where I could always be found.
The mountain greeted..accepted each step, welcoming…knowing. Each step represented pursuit and, yet….escape. Glancing over my shoulder, afraid that it may catch up to me, I watch time chasing far behind. I stay one step before it, but eversofar behind that which I pursue. She lies just beyond the next flat…over the next outcropping… I climb. Each ledge reveals the lie and, yet, the promise that the next will be my last to scale. I cannot seem to rest for fear of what is ahead. Angels certainly watch my steps, guiding me to my destination that I must hurry to find. I must learn to trust…practice faith… These steps are not my own. Each day passes and disappears, irretrievable….irreversible. Today will never return;I will relive her moment, however, daily. My journey, yet close, is aimlessly spent awaiting fate’s calling. I listen intently with every breath. Silence. Sometimes I listen until I can almost hear her faint voice. This is all I need to continue. My days are outlived.
I climb to the highest ledge and share the solitude of seraphim. Weary…warm… The sky turns grey and the first sign of evening seeps into the gorge, forcing light to retreat across the river until she vanishes. Closing my eyes, I strain to hold them….watch them… Time overruns me as I hear Baker’s whisper, “Goodbye, Daddy. I’ll see you in the gorge.”