I don’t have to tell you how lucky I am.
Even though I had to leave behind my tranquil mountains and come to the Piedmont for school, I finally managed to find a home nestled in the “woods.”
After having to move three times my first semester in Chapel Hill (thanks to roommate issues), I finally found a rockin’ one bedroom apartment that sits on a hill underneath tall Pine trees and has trails winding right below it.
My dog, Mani and I started walking these trails sometime over the winter after the first big snow. I didn’t know what to expect the first time, but as I walked further and further through the trees and brush I felt like I was close to being home.
I did not consider myself a “mountain” girl growing up ~ in fact I would have shrieked in disgust had someone suggested it. But the older I get I have come to terms with how much I need the mountains to feel complete.
Over the years, I moved all over the US and spent significant amounts of time in Central America. The majority of those places were mountain towns or cities of some sort.
In Costa Rica, I formed a strong bond with the strength of the ocean, which I didn’t have before living on it ~ but still, I love the mountains.
The crispness of the air, the green culture and the possibility of danger make such an impact on my pysche every time I enter them. I smile more when I can breathe, I want to be more active when I am not bogged down in heat or cold and I swear my spirit wakes up when I am close to trees.
One day, when I was a rugged little tomboy, I decided I was going to chop down a tree in the woods behind my house.
I don’t know what kind it was, but it was small. Not too tall and quite thin. I began hacking at it with my Gerber knife, thinking I could take it down quickly due to its size. As I cut further and further into the life of the tree ~ it began to fight back.
It became stronger and stronger and before long my knife was no longer suitable. So I went after my father’s saw, but it wasn’t suitable either. Before long I was kicking it and jumping on it trying to get the leather-like green insides to give. It was exhausting so I decided to give up.
It rained hard that evening. I returned the next day to find the tree hanging sideways in defeat. It’s branches were bowed over touching the ground and the place where I had tried to hack away at was no longer a light fresh green ~ a darker brownish skin had begun to cover it.
My heart sank. “What have I done?” I screamed inside. I started crying and decided to go and tell my father ~ he would know how to save it.
Walking through the woods this morning, I remembered the frail tree and felt the stabbing pain of knowing what I had done ~ as the talls trees around me inhaled and exhaled.
We all have those special places or preferences that bring us back to home ~ I am lucky enough to have a piece of it attached to my backyard.
Where do you feel most at home?