On a Clear Day . . . | My Earth Changing Moment


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On a Clear Day . . .

The year was 1981 and as a 22 year old student from Minnesota I was transplanted in Athens, GA, to pursue a music therapy internship. For a "Yankee", the red clay and heat of the August sun felt like living in a Dutch oven, although as the fall arrived I emerged from my air conditioned cocoon and joined friends for wonderful weekends exploring northern Georgia. Headed north out of Athens on a Saturday was definitely a counter commute . . . but Herschel Walker's amazing football prowess could wait for the 10 p.m. news highlight reel. We had places to go and people to see. Through Gainesville, on to Helen (home to the year round Christmas store) and then to Dahlonega, where people play dulcimers on porches in the town square. I never did acquire a taste for boiled peanuts, which were for sale from the side of the road. But the quilts at those roadside stops were beautifully constructed with rich colors. The colors we came to see that day in early October were on the trees, as the fall foliage along the trails in the Appalachian Mountains were said to be prime. The day was sunny and we hiked the wide ambling paths for a very long time, and finally reached our goal . . . Brasstown Bald. The highest point in Georgia. The view was a breathtaking, 360 degree panorama in which you could make out the state boundaries where Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina all came together in one glorious blaze of orange, yellow and red, skirted by towering pines. I had been missing my beloved Minnesota lakes - the sailing, the water skiing, the dragonflies hovering in the channels and the loons that called as the sun set. I thought there was nothing could hold a candle to that. That day on Brasstown Bald taught me that nature's beauty comes high on the mountains, just as on the water, and it was the point that turned me on to exploring as many different types of natural beauty as I can. Since then my travels have taken me to places such as deserts, mountains, oceans, and Everglades. Anywhere to see, first hand, the glory of our planet. I am grateful that my boys didn't have to wait until they were 22 to see the diversity and beauty of our world.