If I could I would divide the rest of the leisure days of my life in two ways. On some days, I would like to roam freely in wide and open spaces in nature – sea, mountains, meadows, forests, deserts and on some days I would rather confine myself in a cozy room and contemplate. Recently during my trip to Blowing Rock, a beautiful mountain village on the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, my days were exactly the way I would like them to be.
When a piece of cloth is exposed to sunlight for many days, that cloth slowly loses its brightness and color. Likewise, when my mind remains exposed to modern city life, the whirlwind of traffic lights and its cult of timebound to do lists, it starts craving solitude, silence, and wilderness. During this moment I break free and decide to get lost amidst mother nature. Still, there remains an in-between time. I call it the transition time. The time which helps to bridge the gap between city life and wilderness. During my recent visit to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, McKinley Edwards Inn in Bryson City proved to be an excellent refuge that helped me bridge the gap and relax. Here I present a memoir of moments in McKinley Edwards Inn in Bryson City!
As soon as I entered Rams Horn Village Resort, a soothing greenery embraced my eyes. The moment I stepped out of my car, the autumn wind swept a fallen leaf just in front of my feet. I took that leaf in my hand and looked in front; I saw a bending road ahead adorned with leaves; some pale and some in deep colors. I saw an empty hammock swinging alone. Perhaps there was someone a few minutes ago. As I walked down the bending road and heard the crunching leaves below my feet, a quintessential autumn feeling washed over me.
Never before did I enjoy such a vibrant autumn. Never before did I meet a morning decked up beautifully in gold. The charming yellow leaves of aspen trees during the fall in Grand Lake made me realize that departure from the life need not be scary and instead can be beautiful. The fall foliage in Grand Lake is like a poem; a poem that can be lived.
The best way to explore and experience the wonders of the oceans is an underwater dive. If you can’t, then the best alternative is visiting an aquarium. I wish someday I too will dive because the world inside the ocean is mysterious and unique. I got a glimpse of that world when a submarine took me down 106 ft below the surface of the sea in Hawaii. The charm was so enthralling that I keep going to aquariums. Recently I visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium and loved watching another world in slow motion through glasses.
As soon as I entered my room in Hofsas House, I stepped out into the balcony even before switching the lights on. A beautiful night, solemn silence and thousands of sparkling stars above greeted me. It was a string of joyful moments that filled life with aliveness; without rush and without engines. I loved how my weekend trip to the beautiful small city of Carmel on the Pacific coast of California had begun.
I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day. ~ Vincent van Gogh
The Amsterdam Diamond Museum has a travel story to tell. About a journey which began three billion years ago, 200 km under the surface of the earth, and which ends in the ring on your finger or in the pendant on your necklace. The hero of this story is the diamond, the hardest material in the world, loveliest of all gemstones. Bon Voyage!
My journey to this fascinating museum began with those beautiful words that I read at the entrance of the Amsterdam Diamond Museum. More than diamond I have always loved the story of its becoming!
My moments with General Sherman, the largest tree on earth is invaluable. I sat on one of the benches that surround this giant sequoia tree in the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park in California and looked at it for some time. Strong, enduring and imperturbable, I whispered to myself while looking at it. Slowly my eyes followed the trunk of General Sherman upwards and ended up seeing a beautiful blue sky.
Me to General Sherman –
I am not as lucky as you. I don’t get to live under the open sky and under the sparkling stars at night. ~ Chirasree Banerjee