Fall is Coming! Fall is Coming!

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Unlike Henny Penny who warned everyone “The Sky is Falling!  The Sky is Falling!” in that ancient children’s fairy tale,  I want to announce good news…”Fall is Coming! Fall is Coming!”  It may not be exciting news to many but if you live in the deep south and endure the summer heat, any inkling of approaching relief gives hope that we are near the end of humid misery.  On my way north last week I stopped at the New River Gorge lookout in WV on a crisp, cool morning.  I don’t always stop here on the journey because I’m usually in a hurry to get where I’m going.  But this day I needed a wake-up call so I wouldn’t fall asleep at the wheel.  I thought a walk down to the lookout would perk me up and I could take some pictures on a gorgeous day.  It had been many years since I walked this path and I’d forgotten that there are a gazillion steps down the mountain side!  Going down would be much easier than going up, of course, but it would be worth it just to see the breath-taking views of the world’s longest arc bridge, the trees that in a few weeks would be ablaze of color, and the New River meandering miles below at the bottom of steep mountains.

I needed this inspiring “rest” stop to remind me how my father loved to stop here to take pictures and how my poor mom ended up carrying all his camera equipment everywhere they went on their travels.  He was a much more serious photographer than I and my tiny digital camera that I could carry in the palm of my hand was proof of that compared to his bag full of 35 mm lenses, filters and rolls of film that are now obsolete.  My mom patiently carried that load for him so he could have hands free for the spectacular shots.  I don’t know how much she enjoyed being his photo mule but she rarely complained openly.

I was on my way to see mom again in the hospital, hoping and praying for her healing.  Surely the stamina she has shown us all through this battle with cancer (as well as carrying camera equipment or raising six children) could help me, inspire me, on the uphill battle back to the top of the gorge, up hundreds of steps that can only be taken one at a time.  I know journeys in life can only be taken one step at a time, too.  We don’t know if we will make it to the top but the only way out of a deep valley is to look up and pray for the strength to take the next step, and the next, and the next.  I was a breathless, sweaty mess when I reached the top and definitely awake enough to continue the drive north.

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