Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Watching Autumn on the Foothills Parkway
A few days ago my 12-year-old and I took my mother (my Dad, at 88, was teaching a class on grafting fruit trees) to the mountains. We took the Foothills Parkway, which is just outside the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and has absolutely stunning views. It's a short drive for us, just 15-20 minutes from our house. I am still astounded that I live so close to this majesty.
These days are precious to me. Who knows how long our days are, whether we are 16 or 47. But my mother is 86, and I treasure each day with her. I do not carve these hours out as often as I should, whole afternoons spent just basking in the love of my parents and children and the simple joy of beautiful things.
We didn't do anything but sit with the wide expanse of the Smoky Mountains displayed before us. What more is there to do but watch the shifting shadows, feel the sun warming our shoulders, and soak in the yellows, oranges, and greens that lay like a quilt on every inch around us?
I sit with my mother, and we talk of nothing and everything. She tells me how much she loved the camp she used to go to as a child, where her mother was the cook and she was able to run free all over the camp. She tells me again, and 10 minutes later she tells me again. I don't care. I would hear her stories a hundred times each day if it meant I could sit with her on a warm rock, watching the immoveable mountains breathing, cloaked in the simplicity of autumn.