Writer's Pantry #11, and I'm waxing nostalgic
and posting something I wrote after the fire
in the Smoky Mountains in 2016. I like to
revisit it from time to time.
Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United
March 15, 2020
SMOKY MOUNTAIN MEMORIES
For more than 30 years, my three good friends and I spent a week every autumn in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. Creatures of habit, we stayed in the same room in the same lodge for all those years. It was our favorite place. The Riverhouse Lodge sat at the base of a mountain beside a gurgling little river called The Little Pigeon River. We spent long hours on the balcony over the river, and slept listening to the sound of its tumbling progress over the rocks below. We played rousing card games, snug by the fireplace, with the bounty of our shopping sprees lining the perimeter of the room. We shared our lives, our joys and tribulations, and marked those long hours with sometime tears, but always with much laughter.
The years have passed, and the other three of our foursome have passed on to what comes after. I was left with my memories and the hope of returning to the Riverhouse one more time, but it was not to be. Last year, a careless spark ignited a dreadful fire that swept down the mountainside and burned to the ground the lodge we loved so much. I was bereft. One day soon, I thought, I’ll follow my friends, and we’ll all be gone … the four of us, the lodge, and the balcony where we shared our lives. We’ll all be but a blip in the passage of time. A new lodge will replace the old, and new young housewives will come for their annual girlfriend getaway. But I wonder, I just wonder, if our spirits may not linger in the green hills above, and the sound of our laughter be heard faintly as the water tumbles over the rocks below.