• A photograph of Table Rock from the Caesars Head Overlook.
    Life,  Photography

    The Great Blue Hills of God

    When I was a young boy, my grandfather would tell me stories about the great Cherokee nation and Sah-ka-na-ga, a somewhat level camping area atop the rock where they could camp for a few days whilst on an arduous journey across the mountains. The mountaintop and the water and wildlife provided a respite to the weary travelers. We were told of the wise elders who spoke of the mountains with deep reverence, and of the nights when the stars seemed close enough to touch, as if the elders’ tales summoned them nearer.

    Like most of you, I learned about the ‘Trail of Tears‘, a stain on our nations history, in school. The mountains in the featured photo of this post used to belong to the Cherokee. Right or wrong, they signed over their rights to this land in 1785. If this land could talk, I’m sure it would fill a hundred volumes. It’s these stories that haunt the crevices of the rocks and the currents of the streams; the echoes of laughter, the whispers of the wind through the trees, and the songs of sorrow for a people forever entwined with these hills.

    Being part Cherokee, these mountains, valleys, streams, and ponds hold a special place in my heart. There is an aire of mystery about this land and a haunting cry from the past as the wind whistles and winds its way ’round the mountain tops. It is a shame that so many people are moving here that don’t know its history. The land is being taken again, except this time by colonials from the North, West, and Foreign Governments. The history is still taught in school, but the folklore is passed down from one generation to the next. Hundreds of books have been written, but who reads anymore?

    The stories told by my grandfather were not just narratives of the past; they were the threads that wove the fabric of our identity. He would speak of the legacy left by the Cherokee on these lands, leaving a mark as indelible as the seasons themselves. To this day, I feel the presence of my ancestors in the rustling leaves and the gentle babble of the brooks, as if they are reaching through time to remind me of who I am and whence I came.

    As I grew older, I came to appreciate the poignant beauty in the confluence of nature and history here. The same mountains that witnessed my forebears’ tribulations now stand as silent observers to modernity’s advance. To hike through these woodlands is to walk alongside ghosts of a bygone era, each step a small pilgrimage through a history richly layered and complex.

    Yet the relentless march of progress does not cease. Newcomers arrive, drawn by the allure of unspoiled vistas, seemingly ignorant of the depth of history that permeates the very soil. They come seeking tranquility or perhaps refuge from their own crowded spaces, unaware that each footprint is an echo of a much older passage.

    I hold hope, however, that our stories will persist, as resilient as the ancient rock formations that bear witness to time’s relentless passage. Oral traditions may give way to digital scrolls, yet the essence of our folklore, like the mountain’s silhouette against a twilight sky, remains immutable — a testament to the enduring spirit of the Cherokee people and the enduring majesty of the lands they have called home since time immemorial.

    There is something magical about these mountains on a foggy morn’ or when God dapples the leaves with colours like a canvas in the fall. I have spent numerous mornings gazing out over the ridges of the mountains and watching them pierce through the moving fog and clouds. At times, the fog lifts as if the earth itself is exhaling, revealing hidden vistas and secret places that seem untouched by time. As the sun breaks, the mountains play an orchestrated symphony of light and shadow, enchanting any who take the time to watch.

    Throughout the seasons, these mountains don foothills of white snow, a wardrobe of endless greens, and a spectacle of autumnal hues. The cycles of life continue unabated, as do the stories that are passed from one generation to the next. For those who sit and listen, the mountains offer a narrative of resilience, beauty, and an enduring spirit that no treaty could sequester within mere pages of history.

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    Good morning

    Today, I am starting a new adventure. Instead of blogging daily on Facebook and making them money, I’ll being blogging on my own site. Some posts may be brilliant while others may be lackluster. That’s the nature of humanity. I can’t write brilliantly from a mobile device.