Saturday night, at 7:45 and kind of on a whim, I took a trip to the top of Richland Balsam, the highest point on the Blue Ridge Parkway to read and watch the sunset. When I got there, I set up my “soccer” chair, got out my phone, my book and cracked open up a bottle of Hi Wire Brewery’s “Aerialist” and settled in for my front row view of the sun setting from atop the Blue Ridge Parkway.
I immediately took in the grandness, the beauty, the peace and the serenity of this place; a place i’d been before, just not for a sunset. At this time of day, there are few cars on the parkway and it is so quite and peaceful. There are birds chirping all around. The sun is creeping lower and lower, gently hanging over the mountains of Tennessee.
I find it amazing that the atmosphere shields so much of the brightness of the sun and you can look at it without harming your eyes when the sun is that far down on the horizon. The sun appears as a perfect circle, almost like there is a hole in the atmosphere, slowing moving down with a bright light just peering through.
When I arrived at the “overlook” the sky was as “Tarheel” or “Carolina” blue as it could get, the sun still bright in the sky, but slowly descending on the day. There were some wispy clouds in the sky and some thicker cumulus clouds off to the south to frame my view. As the sun crept closer to the horizon, the sky started to turn from blue to orange. Pink tints began to flow out from below the orange glow of the sun and then a stroke of purple lined tops of the distant mountains, which were now deep shades of blues and grays.
The sun slowly disappeared behind the mountains with nothing more than beautiful sun rays left glowing in all colors from below the horizon. The sun had set on another day here, but is rising on another day somewhere else in the world.
I had no real reason to go up there on Saturday, but the thought crossed my mind after I ate dinner and I thought, as I have a lot lately, “why not?” I decided to go up, watch the sun set, relax, read, and just to enjoy some time alone to think about my life, my children and all of the many blessings I have, blessings that I never want to take for granted.
I’m so glad I made the short drive up to The Parkway on Saturday. It was so refreshing and good for my soul. I’ll be back up there soon!
Are you missing out, or taking something for granted that is right in “your backyard” like I was? If so, grab your loved ones, a blanket and just go! Why not?
As John Muir said, “The mountains are calling and I must go.”
Have a great week everyone!