Head for the Hills
I grew up vacationing in the Smoky Mountains, and there’s a part of me that will always consider them my home away from home. My grandparents lived in Southwestern North Carolina for a large portion of my childhood, and I can remember the waterfalls, streams, and rivers that we used to flock to. My grandparents had a stream running behind their house, and I remember that I loved to sleep with the windows open so I could hear it while I fell asleep (as long as the cicadas weren’t chirping!).
You see, my family are “water people”. It seems to call to us. So no matter where we are, we want to find and be where the water is. So, many of my memories are tied to the water. Even those summers spent at my grandparents’ home in the mountains seem to revolve around tubing down an ice-cold river, or sliding down a smooth-as-glass rock into a river that took my breath away.
Since my family are native Floridians, and are used to finding relief from the hot sun in the cool water, we tried to do the same in North Carolina. And we found relief, although the water wasn’t “cool”. No, it was freezing cold! And on many occasions, it definitely had me gasping for air!
I also remember climbing on and around the rocks framing the raging waters of the Nantahala River, desperate to be near the water. On several occasions, I came so close to falling in, but it was worth it just to touch the water.
So when I need to “reboot” and just decompress, while my first inclination is to want to be at the beach, I’m often just as content to “head for the hills-as long as there’s a river, lake or even a small stream nearby.