I am very fortunate to live where I do. Here in the midst of the Great Smokey Mountains, we have an abundance of beautiful scenery filled with an amazing variety of wildlife and plant life. It's hard not to be impressed with what is all around us.
For several years now, I have spent time exploring the local countryside and discovering a wealth of little hidden spots teaming with interest. One of those places is the abandon farm that lies behind my house. Just a couple of hundred yards down an old gravel road is an homestead that was once the home of a Tennessee family. Now, abandon and completely overgrown, it provides a special place for wildlife to roam without fear. Each time I visit this old farm, I find myself wondering about the family that once lived there. I never knew them, as the last member of the family had passed just shortly after I built my home nearby. I remember seeing their old pickup truck occasionally go out the road, but that was the extent of my knowledge of them.
What I do know, however, is that someone who once lived there, loved flowers. Today, even in the midst of all the entangled growth, are the remnants of flower gardens that must have been extraordinary in their day. Beds of Iris, patches of Columbine, gardens of native wildflowers, and plantings of Rhododendron cover most of the area around the old house. Spanning the length of front porch is a beautiful white Clematis, and within the vines of the plant are wild Shooting Stars. Yes, someone who loved flowers and who respected nature once lived here, and I am so thankful for what they left behind. My life, without ever knowing these folks, is now richer. Today I am thinking about what I want to leave behind.