Here I am, sitting in a rest stop in Louisiana an hour away from my New Orleans destination. Over a period of three weeks I will have either gone through or be heading to Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and of course, North Carolina. Seventeen states over a period of about fifteen days.
Do not get me wrong, I love this. It presents a bit of adventure, inner reflection, and most of all excitement that not everyone either gets to do or enjoy. But on this inner reflection portion, it gives me a lot of time to think as I turn off the radio since the stations go in and out due to the travel.
I have seen some beautiful sights along the way, and will always remember these experiences. But something has occurred to me. I have always somewhat known it from my travels in the past, however, it is becoming more and more clear as I think about it.
We are lucky to live in such a beautiful state. While my travels have carried me state to state along the eastern seaboard, I have also literally been ‘from Murphy to Manteo’ as those who talk about the state of North Carolina phrase it.
From mountains to sea, we have a treasure right here. We may ignore it, not think of it, and become so used to it that we declare we want something else other than here. Like most kids in school want to be anywhere other than where they are. But our grass is not only greener, it is the greenest. We just have to open our eyes and our minds and be willing to appreciate it.
Seeing a storm front roll into the valley below just after crossing the Continental Divide shows the strength of mother nature. A rainbow beaconing on the other side of the storm displays her forgiveness.
The rolling hills of the Piedmont with shallow yet flowing rivers meandering between outlines the canvas for us to color in the details. And then as a surprise we spot something just enough out of norm such as Pilot Mountain to widen our eyes like a cat’s at night.
Or we come across an opening in the dense underbrush leading down a path to a huge homestead sitting back in the Eastern plains. A deer stands there trying to determine your intentions just as her fawn steps out also.
We fight off our desire to catch a few more winks because we know the sun will be rising in moments, and God painted that portrait for us to observe as it breaks the surface of an ocean so vast it compares with the stars at night. For several minutes we get to watch the skyline change colors from pastel blues, purples and pinks to a blazing orange. Soon two suns will be seen on the horizon, one in the sky and one, the reflection on the calm waters of an early morning sea.
Other states, other places, may offer beauties that not only should we see, but must see. But there are few that offer so much to see as this wonderful place we are already in.