My mind is somewhat like a river, but the water does not run quickly and easily, like one's next breath does. There are jagged rocks and dams and twigs, barriers that my thoughts and feelings must cross to exit the confines of my conscience. There are very few things that have the ability to clear a path, making way for exposure. One of those things is music, another is writing, yet another is quite a recent discovery- a place. Never did I envision that a place could have this effect on me, but beyond my knowing, this place has become a comfort, a catalyst, a safe haven.
The Blue Ridge Mountains.
The air around the mountains is cool and it's fresh and the towering hills welcome you in, almost as if they've watched you become- they know everything about you, and they beckon you in nonetheless. Their roads are windy and their views bring breathless smiles.
These mountains have barely known me, for I have just met them. I really was unaware of them at all until just over a year ago. Sure, I knew of their existence, but I had never seen them, nor thought about them, nor been drawn to them. But now that I am here, the thought of leaving is almost unimaginable.
Maybe the Blue Ridge and I have just met, but we are more than mere acquaintances. They have seen more growth in me than maybe anyone else. They watched as the consumption with my own matters developed into the longing to accompany a friend to meet with the Lord. They protected me when I was lost amongst them, fearing that I would never escape. They bid me farewell as I drove my sleepy friends home through a hallway of color while Josh Garrels sang softly. They laughed along with me as I got lost in the tangled web of roads that run between. They smile on me as I make my way to eat between lunches in Seneca, gently nudging me to keep going back. They have been present for countless times that the camera button has clicked- they are a constant in even the deepest corners of my life.
Jesus resides here in the Blue Ridge, I am sure of it. Though I feel Him here, so strongly, so closely, He is elsewhere too. I am capable of feeling Him in other places, especially the ones that I am scared to encounter once my departure with the Blue Ridge arrives. The mountains are quietly reminding me of that.
For now, I am free to roam them, free to breathe in their unmistakeable air. And in a few years, all too soon, I will be free to leave them. And I will learn to be free in another place, a place that lies beyond. But before that can happen, a part of my heart must detach from me and be laid somewhere between the peaks of the Blue Ridge, where greatness is yawned.
And I must say, that I am delighted for a part of me to reside here- because it will always beckon me to come back. And every once in awhile, I just might listen.