Two weeks ago the view from my porch was still bleak, so it was exciting to head south for a four-day Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage in the Great Smokies with fellow writer and hubcap artist Harriett Diller. We enjoyed quiet trails under lofty tulip poplars, rushing creeks nearby, and delicate, colorful blooms peeping out of the leaf litter and carpeting the banks. Highlights: scrambling for salamanders in a rocky creek bed. The ten-year-olds in the group showed up the rest of us. Listening to Karen LaMere, a Ho-Chunk Indian, tell us about harvesting wild rice and collecting quills from road-killed porcupines. Sitting on a log bridge by a creek sketching a flower. So engrossed in noting every indentation in every leaf that I nearly didn't see a turkey hen strolling past--and she took me for part of the scenery.
I came home filled with green and the sound of water and the peace of forests. It was a week spent being myself, free of daily frets and worries. A good transition to this new path I'm on.