BOWEN COLUMN: Some things never come down the mountain – LaGrange Daily News

OEars Valley, Tennessee – Visiting with you here in this space during our quarter century takes us virtually anywhere in the world. At least in much of the South.

As I write today, I’m looking out over the Smoky Mountains from a mountaintop cabin just outside Pigeon Forge. It’s funny, but you can almost see the whole world from this vantage point, sitting up there with my old Coca-Cola buddy Mike, who has taken his place here with us now for a good part of all these years.

I also think back to some thoughts we had while sitting in a place similar to this on the second day of April two thousand and eleven. We had returned from this trip and took the time to reflect, as we do. I never take a trip to my home country of Georgia — which always precedes the Tennessee excursion — and then to the Smokies without looking back with a wry smile and grimace. Life, you know, calls you home after a while.

But coming home for the homework ahead of us doesn’t mean the amazing blonde and I don’t bring back a bit of the red clay and the mountains we’ve walked on and the mountains before packing a piece and to place them in our hearts.

You understand.

Why, your ears even jump sometimes, even when you return to ground level.

“I have lived half my life with popping ears”, we wrote in twenty-eleven years. “You don’t soak in the Tennessee mountain air for much of the week, then leave it locked in a suitcase when you get home.”

That introduction led us to these thoughts, similar to how I still feel today:

“There’s a lot of Tennessee and Georgia bits in our suitcase, and I think it’s fitting that we take a few out this Saturday morning. The mountains and the clay, you and I, we deserve it. .

“As you open the suitcase, you can’t miss seeing a little piece of the Pigeon River flowing by so gently – echoing as it goes, ignoring all the distractions around it, even though there weren’t any lots of distractions seven floors above where we were. Every morning and every night Coca-Cola Mike and I sat seven floors and listened to him tell his fascinating story at our feet. It inspired me so much that sometimes , I’d have a blast in a little song. Sometimes it would be Fats Domino, others Jim Croce. And the river, showing himself quite a Southern gentleman, would harmonize with me, not too proud of him at all. ‘be the Georgian musician’s orchestra sitting in his grandstand seventy feet up I have to say we both made some pretty sweet music together – the river and I, I mean – despite the protests of Coca-Cola from time to time, of “You know people maybe try to sleep r here.”

“But, naturally, I ignored all that. I thought if the river stopped orchestrating down below, I would stop too. But the river continued to flow…without interruption.

“And in perfect harmony.

“Of course, sitting in the suitcase of my mind, right next to the rolling river, is also a piece of the Smoky Mountain landscape. I loved the river, okay, but I still wanted to know what it was doing. So one morning of our trip, I had Coca-Cola Mike, Glory, and the amazing blonde drop me off in the foothills, so I could climb the hill and investigate. For two hours I trekked my way along the river and up the mountain until I was above the city, the hustle and bustle.

“I walked until there was only the river and the mountain, me and my ears popping.

“I climbed as far as I could, but finally obligations in the foothills reminded me that I better turn back.

“But the river and the mountain, the harmony and the friendships – they lie somewhere a little deeper. “These things never come down from the mountain.”

Ah, yes, over a decade after writing those words, back when I was a bit younger than I am now, and I still haven’t come down the mountain.

I doubt I will.

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