Adventures of the Heart


I tried to describe to a friend how I was feeling right now, and the only appropriate word I could think of was ‘full’. Full of emotion, full of excitement, full of accomplishment, full of love…full of so many things. I am seeing a project with roots from May of 2001 finally come to fruition. Those roots took hold during a time of great turmoil and sadness in my life, and to see something so beautiful and gratifying arise from those dark days fills me with joy. I look forward to sharing my good news in the near future.  


The other part of the equation begins early tomorrow morning- an anniversary trip to the Nantahala River in Western North Carolina, to our waterfall where Dan proposed to me on the Summer Solstice, and where we married one year to the day later. The rock we stood on to say our vows has become a sacred place to us- literally a touchstone. It is also the place where I released my mother’s ashes to become one with the timeless river. I feel like I am going to visit Mom in a way, and I love thinking of her as always being a part of this place I love so much. 

Dan and I have both pushed really hard for many months now, both workaholics who love what we do…and when we’re not working at our careers, we are working on our century-old home.  There is always something to do- a labor of love, but sometimes we need to escape from our routines and just be together. This trip will be rich with connection and adventure, ending with a stay at the historic Grove Park Inn in Asheville where we will celebrate our anniversary with dear friends. 


But first, some quiet days in a cabin close to the Nantahala, just the two of us. We will white water raft down the river, and watch the sun set over the ageless Smokey Mountains, looking up at a sky devoid of city lights, lit only with starlight and the soft flashes of lightning bugs. We will go to sleep serenaded by cicadas and frogs, and the soft whinnies of the horses at the riding stables below us on the mountain. Most of all, we will visit Knottyhead Falls, remembering the beginning of our love story and celebrating thirteen very happy life-filled years together. The Nantahala, the “Land of the Noon Day Sun,” calls to me with its siren song. I feel as if I have known this place before, in another place and time. I know that we will leave there with our hearts renewed and our souls quenched. I am so grateful. 

I look forward to sharing our adventures here…I hope you will come along with us. Life is what we make of it, and I intend to make it beautiful and rich in countless ways. 


6 thoughts on “Adventures of the Heart

  1. Neese, I am so incredibly happy for you! Ahhhhh, the mountains and beautiful waterfalls, rivers and streams of North Carolina; my home away from home. It’s perfect that is your and Dan’s place. I would say enjoy, have fun….but that sounds lame because I know you will be glowing with happiness the entire trip!!! xoxoxoxo

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