The Cold Light of a January Sun

A winter view of the mountains in Black Mountain, NC, the green of the leaves replaced by dull grey mountains against a pale sky.

Photograph by Brian Scott Casey

“The last leaf has fallen.  The grey pall of winter has descended on these mountains.  The glory of Fall is gone, and the world is colder and sadder without it.  Every day seems empty of color.  I miss the leaves.  I wish they hadn’t gone”

I wrote these lines before arriving at the place I am in now.  Here, winter seems to be holding itself back.  Stubborn oak leaves the color of rust cling to the branches.  They rustle in the wind as it blows.  It sounds like the deep sighing of waves, with the very same rise and fall.  I close my eyes and let it wash over me.

Oak leaves the color of rust rattle and shake in the wind against a blue sky in Western North Carolina.

Photograph by Brian Scott Casey

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Life is Always in the Setting of Nature

Beautiful salmon pink leaves grace a twisting tree against a blue sky outside Asheville, NC.

Photograph by Brian Scott Casey

I drive south, seeking Fall in new places.  Mountain after mountain rolls before me in waves across the landscape.  Ribbons of the Blue Ridge Parkway intersect thick forests in every shade imaginable.  Clouds race across the sky.

An entire mountain appears rusted in place.  Upon closer inspection, a bright orange leaf begins to grow brown and crisp at the edges; the impression of rust an illusion created by distance.

I round a curve and there is the whole spectrum of color again.      As I drive further my world changes and then changes again.  The forest is in motion along the side of the road, a dappled world of shadow and light.

Vibrant fall leaves frame a shot overlooking Looking Glass Rock along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Western North Carolina.

Photograph by Brian Scott Casey

Life is always in the setting of Nature.  It is landscapes like the ones I show you here that will shape our futures; places like these that will shelter and weather our joys and mistakes.

If you think hard enough, every memory you possess is probably accompanied by a mental snapshot, a panoramic image of the specific PLACE in which it occurred.

It is these places that provide the framework and the texture for our lives. Continue reading

What can you pick up today that will last for 500 years?

A plaque reading, "What can you pick up today that will last for 500 years?"  This was taken on a trail in state park in North Carolina.

Photograph by Brian Scott Casey

Before I answer that, allow me to begin with a PLACE. This is the root of all the questions.

A tree with exposed roots sitting on the beach of an island in a lake in North Carolina.

Photograph by Brian Scott Casey

As I write this I am at a place I only recently discovered.  Let’s call it, “The Island the Lake Made.”

I’m not going to tell you where it is or how to get here.  I want this place to stay exactly as it is right now; empty of everyone else.

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