Have you ever been in the woods on a rainy day–by choice, not circumstance? With the right mindset and pair of eyes it can be an amazing experience, often inspiring awe and wonder at the endless beauty to be found. Yesterday it rained on and off all day but I decided to spend it in a lovely place called Jones Gap, just over the South Carolina border. My 45 minute drive had me flipping on the high-speed wipers several times but I carried on, suspecting I was in for a glorious day of solitude and serenity. It was raining! And I was thrilled!
Rain often transforms a forest into a mystical place where dark tree trunks melt into fog and wet leaves on the trail steal your footsteps. Infinite tiny beads of water decorate every newly opened leaf and bud and branch, hanging like silver diamonds for a moment, or several moments, before falling silently to the ground, like a firefly in the dark–there and then gone, there and then gone. Miniature leaves of maple, beech and oak decorate gray branches like ornaments on a holiday tree, perfect versions of their future selves. Spring ephemerals carpet the floor around me in every color of the rainbow– purple irises, green leaves of mayapples, yellow, white and purple violets, blood-red trillium and pink azaleas.
As I inched along the deserted trail, I was serenaded by the music of the river beside me, falling over rounded rocks as it made its way to places unknown. Oh how I reveled in my solitude! Such joy there is in being totally IN the moment, free to go and do whatever feels right with no strings attached. Singing birds added to the chorus of the gently falling rain, not affected by the cloud-filled sky or precipitation. Looking carefully I spotted several salamanders including red spotted newts and dusky salamanders who were out enjoying the wet day. Unlike people, they seem to love the rain, always out when the world goes in. Further up the trail I was surprised to see a small garter snake and then around the bend, I gleefully discovered two pale green luna moths, hanging together from a small branch, their perfect wings lined with magenta….
This brings me to this week’s quotes followed by a few pictures from my rain-soaked adventure: (If you move the arrow to the right of the photo box, the button in the center will go away)
Rain showers my spirit and waters my soul. –Emily Logan Decens