It is amazing how we land in places either by birth or circumstance and make our way till we find what we truly dream about. I landed in a beach town by birth. However I have found, I really am in my heart, a Mountain girl. So why am I living in a beach town? So why am I still here?
Well, I can give you lots of reasons: family, responsibility, work, loyalty, etc. I think the biggest reason is fear of the unknown. I wish I could tell you I am a person brave enough to quit my job, move to another state, and trust that I will be alright. I am not that person. I am a planner type. I need a bit of security and lots of research before I make a move or decision.
There are reasons I need to stay a little longer too. It’s all part of the transition. We’re close to that accomplishment. And I tell you, the call of freedom is strong. There are lots of good reasons to go but still some strings to untie and items to complete. Here’s the back story:
I am a native Floridian, as are all of my children. We’re born and raised in South Florida. All of my close family lives in Florida. I have built my career and raised my family here. Now this huge transition from mother hen to the next still undefined stage is here, right now! I’m excited and scared. The empty nest offers so many tantalizing opportunities. So I decided to look at where I feel most at home. I found it! It was there in my memories.
When I was about eleven we took a trip to the Great Smokey Mountains for summer vacation. We spent a glorious week in the mountains. I was fascinated by the biggest mounds of dirt I had ever seen in my life. It was sunny with chilly breezes as we hiked trails, rode horses and played in ice-cold streams with waterfalls. We went up to Clingman’s Dome where is snowed in late May. My sister and I didn’t care we had a Florida-style (clumsy) snowball fight right on the side of the road. I felt like a fairy girl who found her forest home.
Don’t get me wrong. The beach is great. And in true native style I live three miles from a beautiful public access beach and rarely get there. Due to my sensitivity to the big blazing ball of pain in the sky (aka the sun), I can only go to the beach in early morning or evening. I like to walk the beach in the evenings the best. At night the beach is truly magnificent but dangerous. I would not recommend walking on the beach at night without a posse.
I know people think I’m crazy for even considering moving from the warmth and green beauty of Florida to the chillier temps in the mountains but I yearn for the trails and waterfalls. I enjoy the bite of cold and the warmth of a fire. I feel alive and free in the mountains. The last time I made my way to the high country was almost two years ago. Seeing the autumn leaves has been on by dream list since I was a young lady. So when my dear husband asked what I wanted to do for our anniversary, I said I want to see the leaves.
I was astonished by the beauty. The forests and streams shimmered and glowed. In fifty odd years I had never seen anything like it. (Tip: Floridians with families rarely get to see autumn its full glory. This is because breaks in school/work schedules, and holidays never seem to coincide with leaf season). I feel at home in the mountains. I have added a mountain cabin for a grown-up forest fairy girl to the dream list. This fairy girl is tentatively stepping into the unknown.