Last night the wind howled across the ridge line knocking over trees like a child throwing a tantrum. Bright flashes of lightning splashed across the sky and thunder rattled the windows. My little buddy Scout alternated between cuddling with my wife and I for protection against noise.
Almost as suddenly as it started the thunder faded away over the mountains and the three of us sat by candlelight listening to the rain as it slowed to a halt. As the sound of rain hitting roof gave way to the chorus of frogs I was struck by how peaceful the night had become without the noise of technology. With the only light being that of an LED candle in the hallway we soon drifted off to sleep.
The next morning the electricity grid was still down and that means going to town for coffee. As I stepped outside the mountains full of songbirds and that special fresh scent that comes only after a thunderstorm. The storm left behind a mist the clung to the landscape and made everything look magical. This was the perfect opportunity for me to get out with my gear and visit one of my favorite subjects to photograph. The curved trestle bridge between Alloy and Deepwater West Virginia. As I carefully step beyond the foliage in full view of the river and the bridge. The azure sky was broken up by the remnant of the storm. The clouds are no longer dark and angry and seem to be drawn beyond the mist covered mountain in the background. Below the river runs high and muddy but otherwise the is flat and soothing. The long curved bridge draws my eyes forward into the land of the Adena where it said that ancient giants sleep beneath the forest in halls of stone. I have taken several shots of the bridge and while Fayette County West Virginia has a world famous bridge this one rivals it’s beauty.
Like the rivers and streams of my Appalachian Mountains I can’t really seem to stay in one place. I take several shots from multiple cameras and it’s time to make my way towards the big blue truck parked on the edge of the road and look for the next destination.
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I never get tired of the rugged beauty of my home deep inside the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia. The dense forest seems to swallow most of the small communities. It is easy stand on one of many overlooks and imagine that the world hasn’t changed in three hundred years. On the morning that I took the feature image with my Canon T5 the mists were hovering around the the sandstone tower. I look at the large tree growing on top of the ancient and weathered rock and I know that it’s probably sixty feet tall or taller. ( about 18 meters). It’s smaller than the ones growing around the base. It’s hard to believe that I’m in a public park about five minutes from the main road. I have my camera case setting next to me on one of the wooden benches. I was here to try and get some cool pictures of the Civil War reenactment group. (In an upcoming post) I was rewardedfor being there early by finding out that an international whitewater rafting event was occurring in the valley below. It was a real challenge for me and my 300 mm lens but I did manage to pull off a shots of rafts as they exited the rapids. (also in an upcoming post). The warm morning air and humidity allowed my ever present coffee to fill the air with a rich aroma. I could waste a whole day in this spot just absorbing the peace and quiet. Once my coffee tumbler was empty I stepped back to the big blue truck in the parking lot and placed in its holder. I was about to travel back in time and find the encampments of the Blue and the Grey as they prepare for the yearly clash in an effort to define the future of a nation.
The trees seem to be standing like pillars that bridge the gap between heaven and earth. Certain trees seem to draw you to them. We sit beneath the boughs and just soak in the peaceful feeling. As the outside world melts away from my mind all the clutter and chaos of the day goes with it. A person can talk to God anytime they want to but to listen to God we need to silence the mind and open the heart. Our lives seem to be full of clutter today. T.V., social media, job stress, financial concerns and political stuff are always piled up around our ears. While it is important to keep a tab on the issues modern life it’s just as important to take a regular break from the world an center yourself. I have found that if I can take just a few minutes per day to enjoy solitude with God it strengthens me to deal with everything else.
A morning stop at the junction of the Gauley River, New River and the Kanawha River was rewarded with a display of the mists rising up from the surrounding mountains. Fog and mists are inspiration for the imagination. While looking at the scene before my eyes it was easy to conjure up what it must have been like during the settlement era. There were no houses or roads. Just the river and the tree covered mountains with the occasional rocky ledge. If I close my eyes and focus on the image I can hear a Shawnee playing his flute as he sits on the bank. He’s working on a love song for his true love, drawing inspiration from the song birds. The tune has to be perfect because it’s the only dowry he has. I can also smell the fire from his camp as his breakfast cooks. He’s having fish from the weir he made yesterday. He’s wrapped the fish in wild aromatic herbs and the scent is amazing. The leaves of Carolina Allspice impart a lemon flavor to meal.
The young warrior pauses to make a mental note of the tune and turns towards his meal. He pretends not to notice that she has been watching him the whole time. He smiles as he watches her reflection in the calm pool along the river’s edge. Playfully he calls out, “If only there was someone who would share this meal with me!” With slight giggle his true love emerges from edge of the bushes. They embrace and I am called back to the real world. I pulled my truck back onto the highway and began my morning commute. However, as I did could have sworn that I saw the two lovers reflected in the river.
About the image. Photo taken with my Samsung Galaxy 6 active. Image of the sun burning through a storm as it passes. The picture was taken on a whim.
What lives in darkness?
Something thrives on ignorance.
Something that feeds on fear.
Something that is selfish.
Something that threatens mutual destruction.
Something that has secrets.
Something that is weak.
Something that has no real power.
Lies live in darkness and starve in the light.
– Lloyd A Dempsey II
Lies. That’s been the topic of several blogs I follow.
A lie is like a cancer to the soul. The longer it’s allowed to exist the more it consumes. Paul Gerhardt was the one who first said that “when a man lies he murders some part of the world.” ( thank you Google) I would add that the liar is his own primary victim. A person may believe that they’ve sent the lie out from themselves and used it on someone else but the truth is that the lie never truly leaves the heart of the liar and a darkness is born. From that moment on the lie takes over the liar. A person does tell a lie, he hosts it like one might host a parasite. The lie will speak to liar from within and the threat is that “I’ll take you down with me.” But, there is a way to freedom. Simply letting in the light. Confessing to the lie and speaking the truth robs the lie of power and shrinks the cancer of the soul.
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”