Smoky Mountain High

It was a long drive on Thursday…a five hour one to be exact. We stopped at three Walmarts and one Ingle’s grocery store. I had worked late the night before, so I slept a good part of the way. I did wake up when we hit Asheville. We had been warned that they had gotten snow up there two days before.

As we drove in, you could see little remnants of snow everywhere. Most of it was in varying stages of melting. When we started driving up the mountain where our cabin was, though, there was snow everywhere. Just enough to look magickal. There was some cloud cover, so the snow had a blue hue to it. I am not normally a wintery weather type of person, but it took my breath away.

I could already feel myself shaking off the cares and worries from the week. I felt the excitement that I remembered feeling as a child….waiting to hear if you have to go to school. Rain and snow have always been cleansing for me. I could feel years of stress washing away as I looked at the blanket of white before me. The child took over…..I picked up handfuls of the soft powdery wet snow and packed it into a couple of the best looking snowballs I could form and I threw them…..both at my partner. His child-likeness apparently hadn’t kicked in yet….I was greeted with a scowl, but it quickly turned into a devilish smile and I could tell that I needed to keep my guard up….at least for a while.

We got settled into the cabin….got room assignments and got into our comfy clothes. As the evening progressed, I was greeted by one of the most beautiful sunsets I had ever seen. The Lord and Lady outdid themselves as they painted oranges and pinks and blues and yellows across the evening sky. As I settled into the comfort of the symphony of colors, I could feel the magick welling up inside of me. I knew I would have to separate myself before long and have some time with the Lord and Lady and the fae.

I had packed a small altar set to take with me. I had a few stones, some small candles, my wand, my smaller cauldron, and my cloak. I disappeared later that night as everyone slept. I found a small clearing in the mountains where the snow had not been disturbed. I built a small fire in my cauldron and put the candles on each side. It was so cleansing. I felt like I had stepped back in time. On that mountain side, I was communing with the Ancients. I could feel my mind clearing as the wind circled around me. I could here the creek talking to me….so I talked back. I whispered the names of friends and loved ones into the wind….and it whispered back. Of course I could hear every type of noise that night time in the mountains could offer. If I hadn’t grown up with the sounds of nature in my ear, I would have probably been frightened.

I could hear the Ancients whispering the secrets of the mountain to me. I remember asking out loud, “Why have the mountains been around for so long?” The answer whispered back on the wind, “Because they are constantly changing.” I thought to myself, “I have to be willing to change….not the core of who I am….but I have to be open to new ideas, new ways of doing things.” The core of the mountain doesn’t change, but the change is in each thing that is a result of the changing seasons. As if on cue, a lone yellow leaf fell into the flame of my cauldron. I watched as it experienced another change…from ash to smoke.

I put out the fire, sat there and let everything cool, then took everything back to the cabin with me. I slept so peacefully that night and awoke rejuvenated the next morning. I was excited to see that a friend had seen some of the photos I had posted of the mountains and she suggested that I make a snowball, fill it with wishes and throw it at a tree. I loved that suggestion…..on impact all of the wishes are released into the universe! What a way to start the day!!!

On Saturday, the plan was to hike to different waterfalls closeby. I was so excited. I had planned so much water magick before the trip started. As we hiked, which ended up being ten miles all total, I found a staff that I used to help me keep my footing. When you aren’t used to hiking…much less walking that type of distance…it helps to have something to lean on. One set of falls, in particular, struck a note with me. It was called “Triple Falls.” This was where a couple of scenes from “The Hunger Games” was filmed. I climbed and moved to the middle falls…I could get close enough to feel the spray on my face. It was just cold enough to enliven me….to make my spirit jump with anticipation. I sat on a rock next to the fall….I wasn’t shocked as another hiker’s dog came up beside me and sat next to me……I was given a gift as I sat and communed with the water and the land and that gentle Boxer. Later as I chatted with the Boxer’s owner, I was told that she just normally doesn’t sit that still….again, a gift.

After the day of hiking, I was exhausted….not the kind of exhausted where you can’t move….the body was just tired. My heart, my spirit was ecstatic. I felt as though I had been a part of the universes wardrobe change. Again, that night, I slipped into that little space among the trees. I just sat. I had no cares at that moment….I was too tired to have cares. I curled up next to my cauldron and dozed for about 20 minutes…..just me in my cloak, asleep in the snow and dirt. Such a connection I felt with the Ancients again….and to my God and Goddess.

As we were leaving the mountains on Sunday, I laughed out loud as I heard a crow caw from the trees behind me. Why should I expect any less…..for all I know, mama crow could have followed me up that mountain. As we wound our way down that mountain, I saw movement on one side of the road….I told the fellow driving to stop and we watched four doe dance across the road into a field. I took it as a sign that the mountain was telling me good-bye and to come again soon. I smiled to myself as everyone in the car sat in awe of the deer.

Granny, you were right. When you turn to the mountain, everything else does seem smaller in its shadow.

Blessed Be!