Back in early-May, my wife and I had the opportunity to join several other
couples for a relaxing weekend of camping in the
. Our timing was impeccable.
The forest canopy was emerging from the winter months into a lively
combination of budding leaves, chirping birds, and a wide array of chattering
insects. Closer to the ground,
dogwoods and mountain laurel were blooming in the warm sunshine.
We selected the
camping area due to its quiet, natural setting and proximity to numerous
trails. Our hike along the Uwharrie
Trail took us across several crystal clear streams.
, and its tributary Cattail Creek, provided nice cool places to rest along our
trip. Given last year’s drought,
the simple abundance of water was refreshing in itself.
As the day progressed we got to see another example of nature’s beauty.
For those who recall, the first weekend of May provided some of the
strongest storms of the season. Gusting
winds, large hail and dangerous lightning blanketed
for several hours. During this time
we were forced to take cover in our tents. Unfortunately,
few of our tents were capable of keeping all the rain and water out.
After the worst had passed, we gathered again in hopes of cooking dinner.
Standing under umbrellas and tarps we eventually got our stomachs full.
Reflecting on that trip several things stand out.
First, seeing nature’s beautiful displays of flowers and trees, as well
as the lightning, made the trip a success. Perhaps
more importantly though, was the fun and fellowship shared by all the
participants. Despite the inclement
weather we all learned more about each other than ever could have been learned
in a noisy restaurant or other urban setting.
It was such a welcome reprieve to be able to carry on lasting
conversations without the constant interruption of telephones, cellular phones
is truly blessed to have incredible amounts of trails, forests, rivers, and
other outdoor venues. Many of these
areas are rarely enjoyed as much as they should be.
During these warm summer months I hope you will take advantage of these
wonderful local places. Whether you
take a child fishing, hike a trail with your spouse, or just escape for a while
by yourself, take a moment to appreciate and be thankful for all the beauty this