Archive for April 6th, 2015|Daily archive page

Back Into The Mystic …

I'm back in familiar territory, The Blue Ridge Mountains. Here's how I got here. Hey, it's easy!

I've been coming here in the Spring, with friends and by myself, almost every year for the past dozen years, for more than a dozen reasons. The main reason is to ride the roads, they're spectacular. The scenery is stunningly beautiful, the air is clear, crisp and clean, and if done correctly it's possible to melt into the lifestyle. If I could break living into three four month locations a year, the Smoky Mts. would be the location where I'd spend the months we call Spring. And here I am now, filled with gratitude.
This is the first time I've approached the area from the south; usually I ride from cold to cool to warm. This time it's been from hot, to warm to cool. In any case, it's green. Or at least greening; the leaves are just appearing, the grass smells cut, and the flowers are opening.
Another thing that attracts me to the area, besides the brilliance of some of the people I've met, is its history. One historical incident that's worthy of attention is the expulsion of The Cherokee Nation. While the story of humankind is littered with stories of genocide, I know of no other that's more poignant and relevant to our present situation. Our, being all of us in the midst of so much legislative angst.
I can't think of another situation where the victims, in this case the Cherokee, did their utmost to assimilate themselves into the dominant culture. What explains a nation of people trying to fit in being so throughly and immorally and illegally rejected? If we don't try to understand this, how can we understand anything?

Being interested but ignorant about the history of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole, Creek and Cherokee people, especially the Cherokee, I once naively rode part of what's known as The Trail of Tears. I was by myself; or, so I thought. In a very remote part of that trail, I became so lost even the flora seemed carnivorous.

Then, a strange thing happened. I don't want to unpack that experience here, but should we ever meet in silence, and should you still be interested, I made an agreement with God to share that experience. The short story? God was willing and the Creek didn't rise, so I stumbled my way out of the woods.

And, here I am . . . it ain't pretty, but at the moment, it's all I need.