As I traveled around a small portion of Eastern Kentucky today, I spoke to a few people and as they asked where I was from and what in the world brought me to the mountains at this time of the year I explained that I just wanted to be here. I love the mountains and I love the people I meet here. It seemed like each time we spoke to someone they were shocked that we loved the mountains, that we wanted to drive 4 1/2 hours south to spend a weekend here instead of at school with our friends.
So our day consisted of waking up around 10am (yay for sleeping in!) and going to Hindman KY to the Appalachian Artisan Center where we had lunch and bought some goodies (including a Rich and the Po Folks CD). We spoke with the women who were working and then walked around in Hindman before heading back to Hazard.
Our second adventure was to Kingdom Come State Park. At first we thought this was an epic fail because after driving a little over an hour, we learned that the entrance (2 miles long and uphill or...up mountain) was covered in ice/snow. So after failing to get even slightly up the hill (yes I still tried in the Lincoln) we just kept driving over the mountains. Eventually we made it to Cumberland KY and I recognized a few places, then saw the sign for Benham and realized we were close to the KY Coal Museum.
We stopped in the Coal Museum to stretch and give the Lincoln a break. The lady there (I'm awful with names) had us cracking up for a good 20 minutes telling stories. Then she told us that folks from here are Mountain folk, folks from TN are hill folk, and folks from WV are country folk. I don't know how true that is but the way she put it made me appreciate that she wanted to take the time to explain to me how different folks are. She even went into the difference between folks on "her mountain" and "the next mountain over"...I truly appreciated her time and willingness to share with me.
As we came back over the mountains and headed towards Hazard (without directions...haha) we stopped a couple of times to take pictures and just sit, staring off into the mountains that seemed as if they would never in.
As I took a few goofy shots and some more serious ones, I sat and stared off into the majestic and powerful ancient mountains. They are covered in snow, we were folded in, and the the sun kept peaking through the clouds. It was beautiful....I was telling a friend today, that I feel God and see God so much in these mountains. In the people I meet. Not that I don't see God and feel God in other places, but it's different here. I can't explain it. But it is a holy place for me. I see Christ in the way people take care of one another. In the patience they show to one another. In the hospitality I have received.
And so, I am here just to be here. To visit old friends and make new ones. To laugh, to cry, to relax, to explore. I am here, just being.
May you find a place to go and just be,