an ethereal weekend


According to, ethereal is:

light, airy, or tenuous:
an ethereal world created through the poetic imagination.
extremely delicate or refined:
ethereal beauty.

heavenly or celestial:
gone to his ethereal home.
Following that logic, we had a weekend that was somewhat ethereal.

The time I have with these kids in my home is this case, thin.  I'm realizing more and more as we hit the tween years that I'm going to turn around and they'll be out on their own, this mad rush of parenting six kids over a 20 year span gone in the blink of an eye.

The time the mountains are in the splendor of fall colors is also a very narrow window.  Come too early and you'll see all green, come too late and the trees will be barren, with colorful leaves just a memory.

We may have arrived a bit on the early side this year, but we were here.

And that means Ian and I managed to tie together the short (and getting shorter every year) time with our kids in the home and a window of opportunity to catch some fall color in our beautiful NC mountains.

I call that a win.

After a short drive on the parkway, punctuated with repeated, "oohs" and "aaahs" and murmurs of "wow!" we found the beginning of the Nuwati Trail that would take us through parts of Grandfather Mountain State park up to a promised vista with amazing views.

Along the way we stopped to enjoy a meal.  Simple as it was, our time congregated on the rock overlooking a mountain stream made the highlight reel for several of the kids for the day.  Proof once again that it truly is the simple things...

We followed the trail through dense forested area and across rocky streams.

And then we finally scrambled to the top.  This is where the weekend became ethereal in a different way as we took in the seemingly delicate beauty all around us.

At first there wasn't even much talking.  It was as if all of us feared that our very breath would blow across the valley and cause the leaves to fall, therefore ruining the moment.

There was much reverence for the scenery we were all trying to find words to describe.

"It looks like a painting Mama!" and "That red tree over there is my favorite!" and "I hope the sun comes back out from behind the clouds because then it's gonna be like, WOAH!" and "We don't have to go yet, do we?" were comments on repeat.

And so we stayed.
I took a few minutes as we sat to focus on what a treasure each of the members of my family is...carefully considering their talents, passions and quirks.
My heart on a mountain...

The sun never did come back out from behind the clouds.
But that's okay.
We still were in awe of it all.

The way back was of course easier, but no one seemed to be in much of a hurry.

And my heart was warmed by our oldest two looking out for their littlest brother.  They occasionally grumble a bit about how so many siblings cuts into the resources, but their actions speak louder than words...they wouldn't have it any other way.

Time has flown by for sure in the 21 years since our first date (a picnic of take out burgers and malt milkshakes from Backyard Burger) and the 19 years since our engagement at this parkway overlook.  The reactions of our kids was varied as we explained to them why we pulled over when the view wasn't so grand because of fog.  Some rolled their eyes, some giggled and some insisted on taking about 1000 pictures.

We're reminded in so many ways right now that time is fleeting and that each day of life is a gift.  Therefore I'm deeply grateful for a weekend to claim some time for ourselves as a family.

Beech Mountain M8 Getaway, October 2017

1 comment:

Pam said...

Looks like a great trip to the mountains for you and your crew! Did you know that we live not far from where you visited??? We moved up here 2 years ago, and are loving the slower pace of life and the beautiful seasons up here. We would LOVE to see you guys on your next trip up here.