On our 25th anniversary hubby and I took a mini-vacation to the North Carolina mountains while grandparents watched the boys. We enjoyed time in a wonderfully elegant, but quaint, totally unique hotel, The Grove Park Inn. If you are ever in the Asheville, NC area I highly recommend a stop, even if it is just to walk through the immense lobby, have lunch on the porch and maybe even visit the antique car museum on the grounds.
On our last morning the skies had grown cloudy and a light mist began to fall. We decided to head home, meandering on country roads through beautiful mountain valleys and along fun twisting roads. As we drove around a corner near Lake Lure, NC, there was a run-down cottage along the side of the road with a "Realtor" sign in front. To this day I don't know what possessed us, but we stopped. Perhaps we wanted to delay our return to the humdrum of everyday life. Perhaps we were still ensnared in the vision of a different way of life brought about by the Inn. But we stopped and looked at pictures of cottages available in the area. We entered and talked to the Realtor. This area would make a wonderful weekend retreat, we decided, being about 4 1/2 hours from home but offering mountains and drier, cooler air and a change from coastal Carolina living.
Chuck took us around for a few hours and showed us some cottages and some land. We fell in love with a 12-acre parcel of land on the side of a mountain. The property was nestled between two ridges and backed up to a steep cliff near the top. It was heavily treed and had the tiniest of streams trickling down one side. You couldn't hear a thing but your breathing and the leaves crackling as you walked up the old drive. You couldn't see a house from any direction. Then the birds began to sing and we were mesmerized. This was surely enchanted land.
As we walked up the old drive we came across a huge rock. The rock was our first picnic spot when we returned with the boys, and became a favorite playing and eating area after we decided to purchase the land.
We camped on the property on weekends. We had a driveway and parking space scraped out of the forest. We found an old travel trailer that we had hauled up onto the property and enjoyed our retreats without electricity; no TV, no video games. Just reading, playing board games, hiking and catching crawfish in the pool of a stream across the street. It was a simpler, slower and quieter time. It provided a time to breathe and relax during hectic times. Looking at this one picture evokes all of the those feelings now. I can almost smell the leaves, and feel the stillness, and my brain slows as the memories return.
Do you have a picture, or a place, that brings a sense of peace to you?