Wednesday Scribblings and we're to feature a place that is special to us. There's one place that will always hold a special place in my heart, enfolded in memories throughout a long portion of my life. In autumn, when the leaves begin to turn, my heart goes to the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, and my favorite place. Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United, May 5, 2021.
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. A couple of years ago, 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.