It’s the first day of Spring, and there are signs sprouting up everywhere! With the unusually cold winter we had here, Spring couldn’t come soon enough for me. This is our 4th year here, and we were out in our gardens working every winter until this past one. I missed it!
Every chance I get, I’ll go out and work in the garden. I don’t care if it’s just pulling weeds, being outside connecting to nature in any way rejuvenates me. I can still remember as a child spending hours outside trying to get as close as I could to a rabbit or bird in the yard, reassuring it that I meant it no harm. And how much I loved discovering the smallest flower among the cool, green grass under my feet. I would love to climb trees and then examine the texture of its bark and notice how different it was from the tree I was in the day before. We had a hill in our backyard and I would just lay there and watch the clouds take on personalities as they floated by. I think part of it was enjoying the solitude of the moment, although nothing gives me more pleasure than sharing some of these same things with my grandchildren now!
With our property here at The Windover Inn we have been fortunate enough to have the space to put in gardens to encourage butterflies and birds, plus have a small organic garden for Glenn’s cooking. I think the fact that it’s secluded and quiet helps to encourage the birds too. We have plenty to keep us busy, but that’s fine with me. I feel like I have an oasis that keeps me grounded – literally and figuratively!
And it only gets better! The town we live in, Waynesville, is surrounded by mountains. No matter where you look as you go through town you can turn and see the majesty of the mountains. It still takes my breath away after 4 years!
But nothing compares to the natural beauty beyond our town’s borders. No matter what area we explore – the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Smokies, Pisgah National Forest or beyond, they don’t disappoint in providing us with constant reminders of the beauty this world of ours has to offer. It starts with trails providing beautiful wildflowers at your feet in early Spring, and then continues with colorful and fragrant canopies brushing up against you as you make your way through the surrounding lush greenery in Summer, turning later to bright yellows, golds and reds in the Fall, finally offering fairytale surroundings of glistening ice and snow in the winter. These mountains will transport you to a calmer place any time of the year, whether you like it or not!
A great way to experience the renewal of this cycle is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Association’s Wildflower Pilgrimage in April. The dates are April 21 to 25 this year, and several of the activities are on our North Carolina side of the Smokies. I don’t know if we’ll have an opportunity to take advantage of the program this year, but if we don’t, I feel blessed to know they’ll be there for us another time!