This is how it happens: we drive up Mill Mountain, the Xterra snaking a black ribbon of road through the green.
At top, there’s the Star.
We have two special friends from DC with us, visiting for the weekend, and we know that no trip to our little city is complete without at least ten minutes on the Star Overlook, leaning on the rails, taking in the view and snapping photographs.
So that’s what we do.
We stand there gaping at the view: range after range of blue hills disappearing into the distance, smudged and softened into cloud.
We gape at the Roanoke Star, too: that big neon contraption that glows white in the night, seen for miles and miles.
After we’re done happily gaping, I take all the usual photos that one takes at the Star. Like this:
And then we head back down the trail to where our cars our parked.
But just before we get there, I stop right in the middle of the sidewalk. My eye is caught by a single clean circle grooved in the pavement — inexplicably round as a dinner plate, perfect and precise. The light catches in the grass nearby, and I think: this.
My husband makes a joke about the way I’m dawdling behind, taking photos of leaves on the sidewalk. And I’m okay with that — being the girl who lags behind, finding beauty in damp asphalt, dry leaves and bits of green.
Because as much as I love my little city and its great-big beautiful star (and I do) … I love this shot the most:
Happy seeing, friends. Hope your eyes are open to all sorts of ordinary wonder today. ❤
I’ll tell you a secret: for a little while I’ve been standing at a crossroads. Stuck fast.
Big, hard-edged life choices have always been difficult for me, with my watery, soft-smudged way of seeing the world, and this season is no exception. The roads are diverging for me, and whichever way I choose has the potential to drastically change my future.
I don’t know, I find myself saying often.
I don’t know.
The other day I was scrolling through the photo library of my old IPhone 4S — the one that I used to start this little blog, once upon a time — and I stumbled on this photo:
Down on the greenway near Carilion, at a bend where the trail meets the river, there’s a spot where you can stand under the intersection of three bridges: the railroad trestle, the roadway, and the pedestrian bridge. I was always caught by the clean architectural beauty of those crisscrossing lines, and I’ve photographed them many times.
On the day when I took that picture, though, something was different: a solid beam of the most beautiful gold sun shot between the bridges, making a pathway of light on the water. I snapped picture after picture, transfixed.
And then I went home and promptly forgot about it.
But today, staring at that beam of light, I’m struck by the message I was sending to myself so many moons ago:
There is another road.
One not made by human hands:
I don’t know about you, but summer brings me to life: the honey-colored light and the slow silken heat. The sight of children let loose for the holidays, running barefoot in fresh-cut grass.
On the greenest of summer’s days, I feel like running barefoot, too.
I’ve spent the past several days celebrating the beginning of all that. There were twelve of us bedded down in a giant cabin in the Smokies, laughing and screeching, reveling in the heat and the mountain air and the goodness of human company. And it seems like the right time to simply drop in here and say: I’m grateful.
The first day back from such a beautiful holiday is always hard, but I thought I’d begin with a simple snapshot I caught from the car window on the road home:
The world is alive and shimmering with warmth.
The winter is a distant memory.
And the future is full of possibility…
Hope you’re celebrating, too. ❤