The Lord fills every day in the mountains with treasures. It doesn’t matter where I am hiking, sitting, or musing about the scenery. There is so much to see, so much to immerse oneself in when walking in the woods or hiking on a high trail leading up a mountain. I never know what the Lord will reveal to me. He never disappoints.
Recently I hiked the trail to Black Balsam Knob off the Blue Ridge Parkway. One of my friends had suggested it as a hike that I could easily do in a morning. It was cloudy and windy when I started out. I kept my jacket with me as rain clouds can appear quickly and soak you when you are hiking.
The trail is well marked and easy to follow. It winds up the mountain through lovely deep pine forests. When it opens out, you scramble over huge rock faces as you get closer to the top of the knob. Off to the left is a dark pine forest that rises out of a lovely green meadow strewn with wildflowers and framed by a backdrop of mountain ridges. I stood on a rock and filled my senses with the colors, textures and majesty of this view. It was hard not to go running through the meadow and head into the depths of that dark forest. I felt it beckoning to me like Narnia.
For most of the time, I had the trail to myself with occasional hikers coming up or down the path. The only sounds were the birds and the wind softly hushing through the pine boughs. At times, mist blowing in from the expected storm covered the knob. Then the sun would break through and bathe everything in brilliant light.
On my way back down the mountain, the gently sloping pine forest drew me in to explore. Pine needles and outcroppings of rocks and ferns blanketed the hillside. I meandered into the depths of the forest, following several bird songs. Sitting down on a large rock, I breathed in the scent of the pine needles and wrapped myself in the quiet of my surroundings. Soon several birds emerged, gathering food and nesting material. I followed three of them, watching their antics in the tree limbs.
I finally had to abandon my meditations in the among the fir trees as the wind was picking up and I thought the storm was finally approaching. Satisfied with my side adventure into the forest, I made my way back down the mountain.
There are few places on earth where you can sit and feel as if the Lord has just left after finishing His creation. Sitting in this high mountain forest is one of them. Such is the generous bounty the Lord has prepared for us, a testimony of His constant presence and a delightful gift for His children.
“Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”
Psalm 90:2 NIV