Heaven, pure heaven. Yup, that's where we were, for four glorious days, we were in a little slice of heaven also known as Balsam, North Carolina. We went for a family getaway before Ethan gets away for three months over the winter. Oh my goodness, but I do believe we're having a Key West post redux, as in "I grew up coming here and now I get to share this same beauty with my children and my family and we get to create our own traditions" kind of redux. My my but it does appear that we are blessed.
This is a shot that does not do justice to the being there of it. The photo feels much greener that it was when we were there, the golds and pale reds and almost pinks are lost in a sea of green, but they were there, we saw them. And brought some home in a bag. This is just above our cabin, just up Cabin Flats Road, smack dab in the middle of the Great Smoky Mountains. And it was so officially Fall. As in while we were on our walk, we could hear the leaves falling.
Augustus wanted to climb a mountain, and he wanted it and wanted it and asked when do I climb the mountain? When do I climb the mountain? When are we going to climb the mountain? So climb the mountain he did, with papa and Magdalena, just up the side of the mountain a bit, from the road, but really that was all he needed, until we went hiking and he really got to climb a mountain.
The view of the valley, shrouded in mist (yes I wrote shrouded in mist, because it was), from our porch.
Up the mountain from the visitor's center is a wonderful 1/2 mile hike, perfect but I mean perfect for us, with two littles who wanted to climb and run up a mountain. The hike was not difficult, but there were lots of rocks to climb on the trail and lots of rocks to jump from slide down climb up, oh-so-perfect for mountain climbing billy goat children.
As we ascended, we entered into a cloud. Magdalena: I didn't know that there were trees in the clouds. I didn't know there were mountains in the clouds. I can climb this by myself, because I'm the five year old.
Can you see it? We're on a mountain! In the fall! I know all you westerners live in the mountains, but we live at sea level, and it was like 85 degrees here today, and my yard is lush and green and doesn't know what "Fall" means, so this was something to behold.
We hooked up with our friends who live outside of Waynesville, our old NM buddies Jessica and her son Ben and darling newest addition Maya and headed to Ashville for the Western North Carolina Nature Center's Hey Day which you can check out here: http://www.wildwnc.org/events/hey-day
Ben had a "hayday" burying Augustus in the hay. And again, these photos do not do justice to the wild fun these children were having in the hay. It was a "hay jump" and I am going to copy that for a party. Who knew jumping around in hay was so much fun? Well I've got a witness and it is.
Did I mention that we are blessed? Did I tell you how wonderful and beautiful and gorgeous and calm and soul satisfying being in North Carolina for four days with my family was? Did I mention how incredible it was to have four uninterrupted days with my family? Sans computer, movies, phone (mostly) and any and all outside distractions? Did I mention that we had Ethan to ourselves for Four entire days?
Sigh. Wow. Words, oh you know, they just don't do a thing justice. Ethan and I turned off all the lights in the cabin and sat outside on rocking chairs after our darling babes were asleep and talked. And listened. To each other, to the crickets, to the acorns falling, to the leaves falling, to the light patter of rain. In almost total darkness. And then we just sat. Yeah, I know. Wow.
Magdalena and Augustus put their shoes on and climbed down the old stone and cement stairs and explored. On a mountain. In the Fall. With jackets and scarves and hats. Because it was chilly. I'm in awe and I could write for another hour, just little words strung together to try to document it, to try to share it, but it all falls short. But I know, you know. Our perfect imperfect life, and all it's attendant blessings.