When you arrive at the top of the Blue Ridge or Smokey mountains, there is only one word for what your eyes behold. Awe. As I stand on top of Mount Pisgah, the mountains fill my vision for 180 degrees. It’s hard not to praise the Creator God who formed them with His fingers. Range after range of deep blue ridgelines fill the landscape. From a distance, the forests appear as a smokey blue blanket, cloaking the steep hillsides. It’s clear why these mountains received their names.
Whether I have just spent an hour hiking up a steep trail strewn with large rocks and tangles of roots or have pulled into an overlook, I am struck with the vastness, the majestic beauty, and the sheer silence of their mountain presence. The gravity of their size and the inescapable knowledge that this was the Lord’s work, causes me to feel insignificant in comparison. This is a good thing.
This morning I sat on my balcony overlooking this sea of blue ridges as the sun rose off to my left. Rosey clouds gathered in the sky before the bright glow finally peeked over the crest of the nearest mountain ridge. White, low-lying wisps of clouds filled the valleys below.
Later, a storm blew in from the west, and I watched the clouds slowly fill the valleys, finally obscuring range after range of the mountains. What were mere patches of clouds in the valleys at sunrise deepened and soon blanketed all but the ridge on which I sat. Some clouds are noticeably ephemeral. I watched one vaporize in front of my eyes.
When I look out over miles and miles of tree-clad ridges, it’s hard to believe that there are cities anywhere nearby. There is not a house in sight. The radio tower lights on the far ridge are the only sign of civilization. I marvel at the different shades of green and textures of the trees. The tall dark firs seem to shoot out of the green deciduous canopy at random, pronouncing their majestic presence to the world. It inspires me to walk among those trees in the forest.
I’ve been waiting to see if it clears enough to venture on the trail I picked out for today. I’m rather a fair-weather hiker, preferring not to be soaked or end up with wet, muddy feet from the path. Suddenly, the wind picks up and the trees dance with their branches swaying. Often, this means that rain is not far behind. We shall see. There is no thunder or lightning on the ridges like yesterday.
For a while, I just sit back and watch the elements play with the forest, enjoying not going anywhere, content to view the spectacle in front of me. Such a gift the Lord has given us, just for our delight.
“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”
Isaiah 55:12 NIV