I have always dreamed about buying land and growing all my herbs and vegetables on it. I love reading and studying gardening and herbs along with processing and making plant-based products. It's what I do and what I enjoy doing along with playing my musical instruments. To me, a perfect day is walking in a lush green forest with crystal clear rivers of pristine cool waters and taking my shoes and socks off and wading through the cool river while enjoying the sounds of birds singing and the trees softly blowing in the gentle wind. It was no accident that I chose the name Me and a Tree for my company! I love trees and if I could walk through a forest once a day that would be all right by me!
So, we decided that we wanted to do just that, and walk through a beautiful lush green forest. We decided to head up to the Appalachian Mountains and see what they had to offer. It was exciting to start seeing the terrain change from Florida's flat terrain to the rolling winding hills up north. There's this blue foggy mountain outline that shows up along the silhouette of the distant hills that is so calming to my soul. There's something about seeing those mountains in the background that makes me feel safe. Maybe because as a kid we lived in Northern California, Washington State, and North Carolina and that was home to us for many years- and all three places are very nature-beautiful indeed.
As my husband and I drove along the winding highways and roads, it seemed that we were being called to a quieter life away from the news and media and we gladly melted into that space. It was easy to relax listening to the almost hypnotic-calming sound of our car tires on the roadway as we traveled higher and higher up into the mountains. The soft rolling hills and lush baby green ferns and tall trees with rocky hillside mountains seemed to whisper, "You're Home".
Now don't get me wrong, we love living in Florida, but the Summer months here can be pretty brutal. The heat in my car yesterday was 97 degrees here in Florida. That's pretty hot. Then again, we do have the most gorgeous white beaches and balmy nights one could ever dream of having. I do enjoy the beautiful scuba diving here as well. In any case, we were in a very different kind of climate and I must say, we thoroughly enjoyed it. It was about 10-15 degrees cooler than summer in South Florida. So, we were soaking up every single minute of it.
As we quietly drove up the long winding road that was leading us up to the top of a mountain range we looked out of the side windows of our car as the sights revealed a deep green cascading valley below, filled with pine trees, oaks trees, elm trees, poplars and more. We notice how peaceful we both began to feel. It was so quiet, vast, and breathtaking. As the trees glided by we started seeing deer, foxes, and a lot of rabbits. I spotted so many herbal plants that I use in my formulas and couldn't get over how abundant the wildflowers were as they popped up around every corner lining the roads and fields. All wild! We loved all the flora and fauna we had the opportunity to see. I was dreaming of land. I felt a very strong pull to drive a little further up the mountain and so we did.
We noticed waterfalls falling from the mountains splashing onto rocks over the ravine. It was quite breathtaking! If you have ever seen the movie The Last of the Mohicans" -- well it looked just like that! It felt as though we entered into an exquisite movie scene.
What we found as we drove past towns and the countryside was that the homes were a little bit further apart and the grass grew a little taller by the roadside, and most everyone had a porch around their home and a tractor. Golden hay bails were beautifully rolled out across the stretched gently rolling fields and it truly looked like a beautiful painting lost in time. The people were also very kind, helpful, and friendly, always taking the time to tell us a story about the history of the place.
After we reached the top of this beautiful plateau we stretched our legs and rested a bit. We met a few of the locals who were more than accomodating. We ended up on a beautiful trek through the forest over rolling hills and cliffs. How beautiful it was to see the rabbits dashing in and out among the wildflowers. Canyon-like rock formations led to what looked to be possible caverns covered with little flowing waterfalls sprinkled about.
As we traversed the country land through the green forest, we came to a beautiful crystal clear river, that was flowing over the smoothest round rocks. I watched a lot of "painting shows" (Bob Ross) in the seventies and I couldn't believe how beautiful the natural surroundings were. I wanted to start sketching right then but didn't have any charcoal with me. Here I was submerged in this secret forest by this miraculous little river tucked away from the rest of the world waiting to be discovered. I couldn't wait to take off my shoes and socks and plunge my toes and feet into that beautifully flowing crisp cool water -and I did just that. What I found was that my eyes and soul were indeed healed by the cool waters at the river's edge...
Stay tuned for part 2 of our adventure and see what happened next...