Felix dies lunae, y’all! I wonder what The Girl & The Boy were thinking as they gazed across the shallow falls at the still-naked trees beyond? I hope they were as amazed by the bounteous beauty of the boundless woods as I was in awe of their prodigious potential and unfettered futures.
I was fixin’ to post a rant today, one that’s been brewing & stewing in my febrile brain since I received my copy of the anthology that included my first published short story a few months back. (Liz Charnes, what’d you think about your state’s anthology?) I may yet do so sometime soon. But when I sat down to compose and chose the John Prine station on Pandora, the first song played was “Long Monday” off his excellent 2005 album Fair & Square. The chorus grabbed me by the ear, smacked me ’round a bit, and stood me upright:
Gonna be a long Monday
sittin’ all alone on a mountain
by a river that has no end.
Gonna be a long Monday
stuck like the tick of a clock
that’s come unwound again.
Now I reckon that may sound mighty depressing to some of y’all, but it sounds damn near like paradise to me. Hell, if paradise ain’t pretty close that, I don’t wanna go. So thank you, Mr. Prine, for straightenin’ my cranky ass up today. It’s cloudy, damp, & cool outside, but the sun’s just a’shinin’ in my soul.
The Boss had to work the early spring day the kids & I took this hike at Tennessee’s lovely Burgess Falls State Park, one of our favorite nearby day hikes. I took the pic above halfway through the hike, atop the ridge after ascending from the river basin. Which route y’all think my intrepid little adventurers chose? (Note the boldface red warning on the sign.)
Yup, you guessed it. They chose the VERY STRENUOUS HIKE. As is her wont, The Girl was exuberant, while The Boy, ever the tentative one, was less enthusiastic about being on a narrow outcrop thirty feet above the fast-flowing 135-foot falls. It took some patient coaxing to get him to join her. And maybe a teensy bit of sibling shaming, too.
The Boy’d had enough,bless his heart,
but The Girl was ready to fly.
Unfortunately, the fenced-in metal stairway leading down to the final descent into the swimmin’ hole at the base of the falls, which had been washed out seven years prior in some of the worst flooding we’d seen in the last 100 years, still hadn’t been repaired and was closed off, so we were unable to access the breathtaking view and invigorating spray of the falls cascading into the basin. Thank you, Republican supermajority in the State Legislature, for reducing tax revenue so much that the State can’t afford to maintain its infrastructure.
Whoops. This wasn’t supposed to devolve into a rant. Forgive me.
After hiking back up out of the gorge, the kids had to ham it up a bit.
Good golly but I love those l’il devils. After some refreshments, we were on to the last leg of our walk in the woods.
To get the breathtakin’est views, we had to brave the dangerous bluffs and risk tumbling to our doom on the boulder-strewn banks below. Ain’t that a perfect metaphor for life, though? We were well-rewarded for our efforts.
At the end of the trail, we came across this adorable little fella scampering around then up the trunk of an unfortunately inscribed tree.
And ain’t that just like life too? At times it feels we’re scaling an insurmountable wall of indecipherable rules, regulations, instructions, & prohibitions. Y’know what my kids do when they encounter such an obstacle?
Damn straight! My primary obstacle right this minute is whiskey. I love that stuff. As of today, though, I’m one week whiskey-free and have no doubt I can remain so, for the most part, indefinitely. Special thanks to my friend Shelley at Quaint Revival, who inspired me by sharing her “Dry January” challenge with us.
Have y’all overcome any personal obstacles recently that you’re proud to share? What risks are you willing to take for what rewards? What do you think about legends like John Prine and Van Morrison? Can a simple, single song from either change your mood or direction in a moment?
This post began with a fortuitous song, and as I’m wrapping up, it ends with one as well. Pandora’s playing one of my all-time favorite songs right now. As I sail with Van Morrison “Into the Mystic“, I leave y’all with sincerest hopes that your obstacles will be easily overcome and your week’ll be wonderful.
Take care, be well, and happy blogging,