Greenbrier, Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee.
Hot and humid, sweating and looking for inspiration, I am hiking in late spring up Porters Creek. All morning, rain has threatened, but the sun makes guest appearances, highlighting the forest and turning up the heat index before the clouds cover it again. I cherish the little puffs of air, random breezes that die off too soon, and carry the slight scent of blooming rhododendron. I have come up this creek awhile now, not particularly taken with all the hype of her beauty. But she stops me here, luminescent, radiant, a thousand shades of green. This is a stream that gives up her secrets reluctantly, but here above a small pool under a green ledge she opens up a little, letting me get a feeling that in a forest choked with debris, there is something deeper and more open within. Maybe she finally trusted me. So I forgive the long stubborn trek up, in a heartbeat. And yet, the more I come to know her, the more is concealed. Life imitates art. I don't know why it is so hard to reveal ourselves; mystery begs too many questions. I am gone before she answers.