Friday, February 27, 2009

Doughton State Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina 19.8.95: Loping Doe, Night-Rising Mist

On the Blue Ridge, at Doughton State Park. Steve and I arrived here yesterday. I’m now sitting on a porch overlooking a field where I watched a deer slowly lope along a stand of trees yesterday, after the first rain we’ve seen in ages.

The land lies pretty. The field’s full of dried grass, with clumps of trees I can’t see at a distance—some apparently laurel, because the clumps are wide and round, rather than high. As the field slopes down, a twisted sole pine and another small tree, then a large thicket of trees where the field meets the descent of a hill, and where a stream must run, because I saw mist rising in this low land as night fell.

It was there, in a bend the field makes as it goes past the thicket around the stream, that I saw the doe run last evening.

Something about the lay of this land—sloping field, overgrown bottom land, the wind-bare hilltop behind it all, with its patches of purple-lichened rock and brown sedge—is profoundly restful for me. It’s just so right: everything works together, does what it’s supposed to do. There’s a harmony in which the land itself seems to delight.

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