For Luanne

Nature's beauty for Luanne - two left clicks will fully enlarge

In this photo image you see the entire “12-mile plus” longer limb of the J-shaped Black Mountain Range.  The south end is on the left and the north end on the right.  Mt. Mitchell, (the highest mountain in the eastern half of North America) is to the right of center and it’s summit is darkly shrouded in the base of a beautiful cumulus congestus cloud.  State park employees and the many visitors were, at the moment this image was recorded, immersed in a dense fog that obscured all but the nearest objects, natural or otherwise.  Yet – as you can see, the “way” is quite clear at almost all other locations within the range of the photograph.

From near Blue Ridge Parkway mile marker 355 North Carolina Highway 128 heads northward for 6 miles – ending at a parking lot near the summit of Mt. Mitchell.

About 30 minutes after I took this picture we were out of our van near the top.  By then the cloud base had lifted and my wife, Terrie and I were treated to some of the clearest views we’d ever seen from that part of the Blue Ridge – typically hazy, smoky, or completely immersed in closely spaced cloud droplets (which is the same as fog). On the average, that mountain top is bathed in cloud matter about 80% of the year’s days.

Here is a link to Mt. Mitchell’s current conditions as well as access to a webcam view from near the top:

There are many dark places in this photograph – the multitude of densely wooded places and at the summit zone of Mt. Mitchell itself.  But the whole picture conveys to me a certain bright beauty – heavenly in quality.  Such thoughts prevailed in my head as I snapped the picture on that lovely afternoon.  Here is why:

A sister of one of my wife’s dearest friends was very much on our mind that day – as she is now. For the past several days she has been in a most serious position teetering on that thin edge between this life and the next dimension. When the cloud around her either lifts or erodes – the view before her will open up and quickly become magnificent – in either case. If she manages to journey back to this reality, the road may be rugged but the experience could well be beautiful in its totality. If, on the other hand, her body finds this existence to be too uncomfortable or unrealistic, she will embark upon a trip that no mortal’s words could possibly describe – for no human can fathom such ecstasy much less put it into words.

If you follow this web-log you are probably a caring person. If you know me – you probably know that I believe strongly in the power of prayer and that I pray to the “Great Guy In the Sky.” If a spiritual dimension is integral in your life and if you are so inclined – please pray for Luanne in your own way. Terrie and I pray for her and those who love her. Which ever way it goes – I wish her Godspeed.

UPDATE: 8-26-2010 – With loving assistance Luanne was removed from artificial life support yesterday.  She has taken that most merciful trip to her heaven where bountiful peace and love replaces all struggles.

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