The calm AFTER the storm is applicable in so many ways today. I decided to take a drive up to Newfound Gap while my poor little one year old slept away the trauma of 1 year shots. When I say trauma, I mean the absolute most upset I have EVER seen him… more upset than hair cuts and even crying it out at night in the crib. Today is NOT a good day for us. It is also the day after another intense wind storm in East Tennessee. One that many thought could drop all the dead trees from our December fires. I had no intention of making this drive today but my little loves to sleep in the car and I felt like he needed a really good, peaceful, nap after those shots. His eyes were nearly closed as we pulled out of the parking lot, so I just drove. For some reason I was drawn to drive to Gatlinburg, I figured I would just make a big circle around to the house, but then once I got to town I was drawn to drive the 13 miles through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park up to Newfound Gap.
I am sitting here now listening to 88.3, my calming station, while I look out on these beautiful mountains. I truly expected to see nothing but skeleton trees and char from the fire once I got up here. This part of the park is so close to the Chimney Tops where the fire originated just 3 months ago. My hopes to see even the slightest glimpse of what used to be such a beautiful view diminished even more as I began to drive those 13 miles. The first 9 or 10 were nearly all burned in one way or another, black char and soot could be seen on most anything left standing. Every so often you’d see a fresh cut stump left behind by the brave men and women that have worked so hard to quickly clear anything that could be a safety concern to travelers.
I didn’t even process the fact that I’d be seeing all this today. I honestly just knew I needed to drive for my little to have a nice nap and Newfound Gap is always such a peaceful place in the park to travel to and view. Today was a little different but still peaceful. Even though just 3 months have passed there is regrowth already starting in some places, and the beautiful Newfound Gap view is still there! If you love this area like I do, rest assured it has not lost its beauty. God is good.
I really am blessed to live so close to such an amazing place. Little man woke up giggly and saying momma when we got home. What a successful and tranquil by chance afternoon.