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Archive for July 16th, 2013

Old and Young

I’ve been on top of Table Rock many times. You would think that it would get old to me, but the eye is never full of beauty and the view has so much scope for the imagination and the memory. I met an older couple there from Tennessee who had driven 10 hours to see this wonder that is in my backyard. Many who live within less than an hour of it have never been on top. I pointed out numerous peaks by name since they ask and were trying to orient themselves: Grandfather, Hump, Roan, Mitchell, Pisgah, Shortoff, and Hawksbill. These are not just names or peak shapes to me. They are memories of multiple trips with family and alone and with friends to enjoy the outdoors. The gray of my beard belies the youthful desire for adventure and challenge and newness that my heart seeks, but my body tells no lies when it says, “Slow down you old fool.” No matter because I can still challenge this old rack and obviously it takes less to do so than in the past. And I can still enjoy the view, even if I can’t see the tower on Mitchell like I once could. Perhaps seeing more of the essence along with less of the detail amounts to a greater view of the scene than I had in previous times.

The young ones struggling up over steps half or more of their height and having such a narrow view of what they are seeing speaks of much simpler times. Surely our Creator sees us as little children to whom He points out far flung, awesome views that we claim to see but have no idea about what He speaks. We tire so quickly, whine so easily, and then run heedlessly ahead is rapt amazement at the joy of being alive and on an adventure. Like a young child whose grip is all or nothing, we grasp after momentary, temporal pleasures as if they are life itself when the profound view of our God is in plain view but beyond our limited sight. The children of my church friends are building memories. They slowly learn to sweat and exert without complaint. They learn to enjoy simple and profound beauty. They learn enjoyment rather than fear of the outdoors. All in all, for both young and old, it was a beautiful day in which we saw much within and without, enjoying the sunshine of sky and relationship.

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Taking a bread while enjoying a view

Taking a break while enjoying a view

Chimneys and North Carolina Wall

Chimneys and North Carolina Wall

Friends on the top of Table Rock

Friends on the top of Table Rock

Upstream in the Linville Gorge with Tennessee Mountains in the background

Upstream in the Linville Gorge with Tennessee Mountains in the background

Grassy Bald left; Hump Mtn right

Grassy Bald left; Hump Mtn right

Site of the old Fire Tower

Site of the old Fire Tower

Front Face of Table Rock

Front Face of Table Rock

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