The Lord God took the human and settled him in the garden of Eden to farm it and to take care of it. – Genesis 2:15
Rebekah and I are high up in the Appalachians this week, writing and relaxing in a beautiful mountain house. I’m making some significant progress in terms of getting my new novel out of the gate, and Rebekah is finding inspiration too. It’s just Wednesday morning, but we’re well on the way to a successful retreat.
It’s been a little too cold for photography, but I did carry my camera around just long enough to grab these images and share an idea of how beautiful it is around here, hiking the roads within a mile or so of where we’re staying.
Our location has been carefully developed, without denuding the landscape. But Rebekah and I have driven past several new neighborhoods where construction has – tragically – clearcut all the trees (I don’t have any photographs). That kind of abuse is not the case at all where we’re staying – and I really appreciate the way this neighborhood has been laid out.
Fact is, in the winter, with all the leaves down, the views are accessible if you look carefully. Easier construction and unobstructed views are no justification for the kind of mayhem we’ve been noting in too many locations.
I’m not sure that we will ever be in a position to own a house in a place like this (here’s where we’re hanging out, pictured at right), but if one day we are I hope we will remember that all we’ll ever really be are temporary stewards and conservators, respecting the land and those who come after us all the time we’re privileged to enjoy it.
North Carolina is an amazingly beautiful state, from the Appalachian Mountains, through the Piedmont, the Coastal Region, and to the Outer Banks. Little by little, we’re exploring its wide variety and the phenomenal resource of its natural spaces. But the disposition of those who currently hold power (both here and in Washington) worries me deeply; I see such consistent blatant selfishness, entitlement, abuse of trust, and disregard for anything other than the temporary profit they can squeeze out and keep for themselves.
So enjoy these photographs, then think seriously about what we can all do to protect the good from the greedy.
Peace, and more peace – DEREK
(all photos from Bald Mountain, West Jefferson)
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.