I closed my eyes preparing for the step through Time and Space, like moving through a doorway from one room to the next. Exhaling gently I took that step. The walls of the apartment expanded until they vanished into distance. The air conditioning, which had just burst on as I stepped, replaced by a soft, early summer breeze. The soft scent of earth, trees, honeysuckle, and wild roses tickled my senses as I opened my eyes and stared out over Low Gap.
Before me the mountains of South Eastern Kentucky rolled out as far as the eye could see. The horizon was a different set of the same mountains. The breeze on my cheek also stirred the leaves of the trees of the mountains making them look like waves of green water rolling away from me to the far distance. Birdsong fills the air. Cardinals. Blue jays. Sparrows. Johnny Titwillows. Mocking birds in a tree somewhere out among the green leaves lifted their voices in all of their different songs revelling in being alive. A squirrel chatters at me from a nearby chestnut tree, angered at my sudden appearance, or his sudden awareness of me – I’m not sure which.
My toes dip into the grass of the mountain top that removed to get to the coal beneath. This is the only way I could get to see the mountains like this because I couldn’t hike it, I have to come in a Jeep, but it is worth it to see the mountains’ expanse roll out before me like it does. My heart and soul swell with pride and love. This land is as much a part of me as the air I breathe. The songs this land created are the songs I sing in happy times and in sad, and all the phases and emotions in between.
This is who I am. The daughter of the hills. The daughter of a coal miner. The daughter of a nurse.
The mountains and the people they grew are my backbone and my pride. Very few remember the old ways and the stories anymore, but I do. I remember them all and I am going to write them all. And, when the energy and joy of life is low I will step through the doorway and go to my mountains. I will drink them in and go on. Just as they do.
I smile at the mountains and their leafy waves and I relax with notebook in my lap and pen at the ready. No matter where I go this place goes with me. This is home. This is who I am.
I put the pen to page in the shade of the Jeep and explore Time and Space with all the dimensions of the Universe – reaching Inside and Out.