A warm breeze cascading down Panther Mountain brings the sweet scent of Appalachian wildflowers as I rolled down the window of the big blue truck. I’m on a little bit of a scouting mission but I’m taking time to visually explore everything on the edge of the road. The road over Panther Mountain is a public road but there’s places where it’s a road in name only.
Most people use ATVs to travel this road and I only take my truck part of the way up. I have never been the entire length of the road.
As I watch the left edge of the road the Tiger Swallowtail in tonight’s feature image was the first thing that caught my eye. It paid no more attention to the truck than it would a large rock in the middle of the road. It’s whole world was just sunshine and nectar. I paused for several minutes and watched it feed. Then I noticed another and another and then a fourth one. The road was lined with butterflies. None of them seemed care about the giant idling his way up the mountain. They only seemed to care about what was actually in their control.
I have come to understand that the secret to peace of mind is not expending mental and emotional energy on things that are beyond our control. I’m not really suggesting that we should be unprepared but that we don’t dwell on the negative. If we have the things that are actually in our control in order then if the unforseen happens we’ll be in better shape to deal with it.
I raised the lens and snapped a picture to help remind me of the lesson the Tiger Swallowtail had for me and continued to ease on the gravel road towards my goal.
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