The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

The Glade

By Bob Heafner © 1983-2012

Issue: September, 1983

Many a time I’ve thought about why I love the mountains; I’ve even tried to describe it to friends, but there are so many reasons for my love of this area that a description of every reason seemed impossible. All the reasons I love this area would fill volumes and take a lifetime to relate, especially since I discover new things to love each day. But, let me tell you why I love this moment.

I am sitting on a log, with my pen and pad, in a small glade. There are rhododendrons which are well over ten feet tall, encircling the glade and a small stream is gurgling beneath them on one side. Tall oaks and hickories shade the entire glade with sunlight filtering through here and there. The clearing is carpeted by lush green grass and numerous wildflowers and at the base of each tree; there are rhododendrons and flame azaleas clumped together. The edge of the glade dips in and out of the surrounding woods, giving the glade an irregular outline but providing little nooks and crannies where chipmunks scurry over fallen limbs.

The small limbs of the maple tree over my head are gently fanning me with a cool breeze. As I sit in the glade, a wonderful feeling of harmony with nature surrounds me. The glade is teeming with signs of nature’s handiwork. Added to the sound of the small rocky stream, there are birds singing all around me. A “Granddaddy Long Legs” is working his way up an enormous hickory tree and a butterfly just softly fluttered by.

The glade with its bounty of life and cool breezes is a setting of complete peace and tranquility. I love this area because there are thousands of small glades like this one, nestled in the hollows throughout The Heart of The Blue Ridge. Places where you can be alone with nature and yourself. Places where “peace and quiet” are a reality, not just a cliché.