I am a beach girl. A water baby. I grew up with a swimming pool and parents who loved going to Florida or South Carolina. There are pictures of me in the water at less than a year old (with my shoes on but still, I'm in the water). If you gave me one choice of scenery for the rest of my days I'd choose the sea.
But there's something about the mountains.
After the stress of Hurricane Matthew, I repacked my suitcase and went to the Southeast Wise Woman's Herb Conference with some ladies from work. It was delicious. Time in the mountains is something I've not had for years. I'm not one for women's groups. I shy away from "girl's night out". I always have. I was terrified to go into the woods with a whole slew of women, most I didn't know. But it was illuminating.
I learned so much from the lectures, so much to take home and digest. I'm still processing the information, still recopying my notes so I can fully grasp their wisdom. An entire lecture was directed to those of us with auto-immune diseases and I think I was the teacher's poster child for her talk.
But it wasn't just the learning. It wasn't just discovering that large groups of women aren't (too) terrifying.
It was listening to the voice of the mountains and coming away with my heart full of story.
My current WIP is set deep in the heart of the North Georgia Mountains. The foothills of Appalachia so to speak. I grew up going to those mountains and I cut my teeth on the Foxfire Books, especially volume 2 and its entire section devoted to "Boogers, Witches and Haints". Legends of the mountains.
The mountains are mystery. They call to a deep, wildness in me. This time they whispered of herbal folklore, old magic, and the depth my story is calling me to. A depth I have been avoiding.
I'm thankful for those few days and for discovering that the mountains still speak to me. I may crave the hypnotic undulations of the Atlantic, but there's a deep place rooted in Appalachia. A deep place that I must now sink my roots deep into and allow to drink in great, mud filled gulps. Stories lie buried in those hills and I'm honored to be a part of that root-system.
Thoughts for the week:
What landscape speaks to you? Where do you prefer to be? What calls you home? Have you ever felt rooted to a land that wasn't, necessarily, your own? Do you believe there are stories in the land beneath our feet?
Speak up! I really do want to know :)
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