The Beauty Is

Sometimes, I’m a lucky girl.

North Carolina is always kind to me. On our last tour, we had shows in  Raleigh and then had a weekend on the beach in Wilmington. This tour, we’re surrounded by the mountains in the western part of the state. Beautiful isn’t the word that describes it, really. Awesome would be closer. Sometimes I just look at the mountains and say ‘woah’ – You would have to be a fool not to think it’s magnificent.

The view from our hotel in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Armed with my Ukulele and a Nature Valley Oats n’ Honey granola bar, I took to hiking the Smoky Mountains near Cherokee, NC the other day. The 3 mile trail along the river was breathtaking. I took some inspiration from the mountains to write some children’s songs, but I left plenty inspiration for those who come after me. After some productive writing I headed back and came across some wild elk that had ventured into the clearing to graze. It was magical. It was epic. It was good for the soul.

The elk

The park was wonderful, but it left us wanting more. We ventured deeper into the forest and found a more secluded trail that climbed the mountains. These purple mountain majesties help to remind me how amazing this country really is, which is vital because I have felt so disenchanted with America for quite some time. It’s only February, but it feels like spring. I feel healthy, happy, and lucky, albeit a little homesick. I think Shakespeare took the words out of my mouth best in Sonnet 98:

Only one hand rail. Don't lean on it though - it's wood attached to the log by rusted nuts and bolts.

 

From you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud-pied April dress’d in all his trim
Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing
That heavy Saturn laugh’d and leap’d with him.
Yet nor the lays of birds nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odor and in hue
Could make me any summer’s story tell.
Or from their proud lap pluck them while they grew;
Nor did I wonder at the lily’s white,
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
These were but sweet, but figures of delight;
Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
    Yet seem’d it winter still, and, you away,
    As with your shadow I with these did play.

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