The Enchantment of the Mountains
Sometimes, the sun rises timidly and hides in the rain and mist; other days, it emerges joyfully, playing with the colors gifted by the clouds. I like to keep the curtains open to receive the caress of its first rays. And although I don’t always keep my camera close to my pillow, when I’m in the mountains, it joins me in my dreams, ready to capture the dawn.
As I got up, I went to the window. The mountains, still drowsy, were barely awakening from the mist. I left my room, uncertain of what I would find. It’s always a surprise. I walked slowly, allowing that whirlwind of colors to envelop me. The light gradually revealed the hues of early autumn through translucent fog—yellow, pink, deep blue, and gold.
Driving through the Foliage
I strolled through the Appalachian Mountains on a narrow road surrounded by tall trees. I love letting time pass slowly, in tune with the landscape. In the late afternoon, I set out to find my refuge, armed only with a photograph of a dense forest with a white arrow pointing toward where the place should be. The directions were even more confusing: find the brown house, pass the green house, and turn right (Google showed a left turn). So I ascended and descended the mountain several times, unhurried, savoring the journey, until I found it.
I love being in that boundless world, savoring the peace of the forest, the chirping of insects, and the calls of birds. I took out my watercolors and sketchbook and started drawing with no particular goal, playing with the bronze colors of the gently falling leaves. I stayed there until the light slipped away.
I entered my retreat, a small trailer nestled in the woods. I once spent a few days in a pink one; this one was green, both on the outside and inside—the furniture and decoration aligned with the epoch when it was built, perhaps in the 1950s. There was a bed, a small refrigerator, a microwave, and a table with two chairs. The bathroom was outside.
I’ve encountered these types of bathrooms on some old farms where I’ve stayed. They are small wooden structures located outside the house. They’re spacious comfortable, and don’t use water or have a septic tank. They use sawdust!
As night fell, I was ready to take a shower. It was cold. I wrapped myself in a robe and took the flashlight I found by the door. Everything was set up for the best experience. I didn’t expect the path to be marked with small lights on the ground, and I instantly recalled the story of Hansel and Gretel, who found their way back home by following the white stones that shone in the moonlight.
I had a perfect moment—a warm shower in the middle of the forest! I loved the contrast between the chilly air and the warmth of the water. I heard the cicadas and the hustle and bustle of squirrels as they prepared for winter. They hurried, breaking small tree branches and dropping their precious acorns.
Returning to my retreat, I lit the heater and wrote and edited my images for this post.