how the mountain laurel blooms

So the summer has bleached my brain, and crept into my blood with its perfume. It’s rendered my ability to sit down for more than five minutes extinct. My usual gingerbread word sorcery is gone, daddy gone.

I don’t need to always be a weaver of gold, though I feel guilty when I don’t produce anything shiny for a few days. It’s okay to just gather external stimuli to save for later. It’s okay to not work, to not fret. But oy do my hands and fingertips get antsy.

We hiking yesterday, that really lovely trail where the fireflies were. We walked down to the river and climbed on giant boulders the size of our bedrooms, skipped rocks, and discovered small, green moss-covered fairy islands where lichen grew waxy and white and red fungus bloomed all over a fallen black cherry tree.  One of the beautiful things about hiking with a child is that you have to go a bit slower than you would if you were childless and determined to finish it and get your heart rate up. You get to see salamanders and snails, you get to count butterflies, you get to notice how blackberries ripen and how the mountain laurel blooms.

The beginning of this particular trail has a few falling-down vacation cabins, some still with doormats and curtains, all with gorgeous stack stone fireplaces and big broken picture windows that overlook the river. In this place the river is so joyfully LOUD, it wraps itself around your head and washes anything away that was ailing you. I can imagine sitting in the living room of one of these cabins, completely reclined with a book on a wicker chaise, the river dancing outside and the fireflies synching in blue, gold, and green. I can imagine living back then and walking up to the village when it was alive, wearing a little 1920’s knicker suit for hiking and big lace-up hiking boots. My hair would be done and my lips would be red. My husband would tell me the names of all the trees, just like he does now.


4 thoughts on “how the mountain laurel blooms

  1. Sounds like a wonderful hike. Being forced to slow down is totally a blessing. Those cabins sound beautiful (esp. if they are dilapidated)—sounds like a good photography project….

  2. It is just wonderful!! If you’re ever down this way I’ll take you there; the Smokies are a magical, peaceful place. As for the photography project, Gary has already started it. 🙂 I can’t wait to share what he sees through his lens.

  3. It just gets better, Deborah! It’s great that you’ve got him out and hiking so early, X was around 18 mos. or so when we hit the trails with him on foot (he never wanted to be in a sling or pack – always had to do the hiking himself!).

"... all my lovers were there with me, all my past and futures."

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