Cades Cove … in the dark.
It was a rainy day in the Smoky Mountain National Park. Windows of light came and went through the day but after dinner I was antsy. The previous morning I rode by bike to Cades Cove through Townsend, up Rich Mountain Road, and then into the settlement area but evening is different. I wanted to ride in the dark … on purpose. I predicted I would be caught in the dark and I remembered when I had been in the cove when it was dark on a solo backpacking trip a couple of summers before. The darkness can play games but games can be played with the darkness. Darkness is not something to fear, it is not threatening, it is different; when living things thrive and interact during a different part of the day just, without light.
I made it to the boarder of the Smoky Mountain National Park (SMNP) and texted Karen to let here know where I was and the time.
This road is awesome. After climbing for 1+ hour on paved roads I made it to the gravel portion and crossed over Cades Cove Mountain as the fog rolled in and then, a Great Horned Owl flew right in front of me! There was not a sound made and it had a rodent in it’s claws. The fog split as it flew and then it was camouflaged once, again.
On the way down I could not help but scan … thinking “bear, bear, bear”… but, wait, bears are there because that is what they do! Feeding and foraging in the night. I am in their place and it is not aggressive, there is no threat, and the darkness is not closing in. The darkness is there and I am in it.
Then, I reach the bottom, take a left on the main road, and right on Hyatt Lane … BOOM! FIREFLIES, EVERYWHERE! Of course there are no pictures due the darkness but, in my mind it is SO CLEAR.
- fireflies as far as I could see
- vertical layers of them
- lighting in sequence and shining through the fog
I had to stop, slow down, take it all in, and tempt myself not to leave the darkness. The darkness had a meaning! For the light to be bright it has to be dark!
So, my takeaway? What I remember?
Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
I am thankful that these fireflies (and all the animals in creation) showed up in the darkness. This is only complete when it is shared. Noah, Emily, and Abigail … there is so much out there to see.
“I am writing to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I have written to you, children, because you know the Father.”