Peak of Solstice

Peak of the solstice

In celebration of the longest day of the year, I get up at 5am and head to Roan Mountain, aka the legendary mountain in my work in progress manuscript. Mid June brings thousands of catawba rhododendron to life.  These evergreen bushes cover the mountain top with a blanket of dark pink / red. Waves of blue Appalachian Mountains stand witness to the short lived beauty that will soon be cast away by wind and rain.

World underneath

World underneath

For the peak of the summer solstice, I can think of no better place to be than the pages of my manuscript come to life.  The curved branches underneath these blooming bushes are as captivating as the flowers.  It is a whole other world under their canopy as you walk along the paths.  Buzzing bees provide the background music, moving in and out of the flowers.  An occasional butterfly stops long enough for you to see the color of its wings.

Doe River

Doe River

Other parts of this mountain are shaded and quiet. The Doe River flows over rocks and along moss covered trees in this magical forest.

Climb at Carvers Gap

Climb at Carvers Gap

Still other parts are high grass covered hills.  I climb the one at Carver’s Gap while thunder rolls in the background.  Once up there, I have enough time to record some video of the 360 degree mountain view, and take a few photos before a bolt of lightning hits the hill next to me.

Uh oh

Uh-oh

Knowing lightning hits the tallest thing (and at this moment on this hilltop—I am the tallest thing) I gather up the tripod and electronics and run down the hill.  I will admit there was serious praying going on too as I realize the irony of meeting my end on the mountain I have focused on for the last year.  Seeing two more bolts of lightning, I finally reach the forest area of the hill.  The minute I dive into the trees, I feel safe and protected by the strong branches surrounding me.

Peaceful greeting

Peaceful greeting

When I exit the forest area, a lone rhododendron bush greets me.  It is so peaceful in the shade of the incoming storm clouds.  I can breathe; it is going to be okay.  I give thanks and of course take out my camera, just for a minute, before the last of the downhill climb.  It is time to head home. In a way, this mountain has become a second home thanks to the story and characters.

Raven at Visitors Center

Raven (Queen of the Crows) greets me at the Visitor Center

 

Until we meet again on mountain, trail…or keyboard 🙂

 

 

Debbie Emory

Making Magic Out of Everyday Moments