Mountain Memories

Dark Hollow Falls Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, USA, from Adobe Stock Photos

Mountain Memories

An antlered deer bounds to sheltering trees.

A doe and spotted fawn graze lush meadows.

Seeking sylvan sanctuaries of peace

in our youth, we find the hidden hollows.

We view mountain vistas in morning mist,

green valleys and winding river below.

Ravens glide on updrafts in sky-blue bliss,

silent above an ancient hemlock grove.

We descend a steep trail beside a stream,

water music echoes through the forest.

At journey’s end, the waterfall of dreams

is singing the “Hallelujah Chorus”!

My dreams now play reruns of old memories,

of blue mountains and green river valleys.


Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia

View of the Shenandoah Valley from Stony Man Mountain in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, Photo from Adobe Stock

87 Comments

  1. The vision of beauty and power, the mountains never fail to evoke the memories of being once among the wildness. The poem and the photographs add to those memories, Cheryl, of wonder shared by all who trekked through or live close to the mountains.
    Thank you.

    Joanna

    Liked by 7 people

    Reply

    1. Thank you so much, Joanna, for your kind response. ❤ Nature is always inspiring, and I found your beautiful garden very inspiring! I like living on the Gulf Coast with its dolphins, sea turtles, and tropical birds, but the mountains where I grew up will always hold a special place in my heart.
      Have a wonderful week!

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  2. This poem is so alive Cheryl 💖
    I could picture the walk in the woods along the spring till the waterfall, and can almost hear the birdsong that must have been there. The sun is blisteringly hot around my place right now, there are some Ravens but they just sit on a tree branch and caw loud and harsh! The imagery from your poem was very comforting, thanks so much Cheryl. You are so lucky to have seen such beautiful places as these, and we are lucky that you also let us see.

    Liked by 7 people

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    1. Thank you, Deb, I always look forward to hearing from you! ❤ I lived in small towns among the Blue Ridge Mountains from ages 11-35, and they will always stir my soul, even though I live far away now. It is my pleasure to share. The Gulf Coast of Florida is also a beautiful place with alligators, dolphins, manatees, and tropical birds. Nature always inspires, except when it annoys, like your loud ravens! I could do without the fire ants we have in our yard! I always enjoy your posts about the beautiful and historic places in India that I have never had the privilege to visit.

      I hope you soon get relief from the heat. Enjoy your week!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

    1. Thank you, Radhika, for your kind response. ❤ I hope you will share some of your happy memories in a future post. We each get one life to live, and we can't do everything. I always like learning about the lives and experiences of others. All the best! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

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    1. Thank you so much, Nawaz! ❤ It makes me very happy that you enjoyed the poem. I lived in the mountains of Virginia for twenty-five years, until age 35, and raised my oldest daughter there. Though I enjoy living in Florida, the mountains will always be in my heart.
      May you know joy and peace. Have a wonderful week! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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  3. Spectacular imagery Cheryl, and the mountains are wondrous places to visit, always visually so stunning…. our mountains are not very tall, but they are genuinely beautiful… I dream of being able to do a few short bush-walks soon..
    Cheers Ivor..

    Liked by 6 people

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    1. Thank you so much, Ivor, for your kind comment and for sharing your thoughts. I regret that I have never visited Australia, and always enjoy photos of your amazing country. Hope you find time to go on some bush-walks soon and do share some photos!
      Take care of yourself, Ivor! ❤ ❤ ❤

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    1. Thank you, Kate, for asking how I am. I apologize for not answering your earlier question about my health, but I hate to complain. Preliminary tests seem to indicate that the symptoms are not a worsening of my heart disease. I still suspect it’s “long hauler” syndrome from covid19, but I have more tests to come and don’t know much yet. I feel Ok much of the time, but have bouts of fatigue, chest pain, and digestive issues. I will post results when I know more.

      Liked by 2 people

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    1. Thank you, Frank, for your kind comment. I lived in small towns in and around the Blue Ridge Mountains from ages 11-35 and raised my oldest daughter in the Shenandoah Valley. We spent many happy days in Shenandoah National Park and enjoyed hiking to all seven of the waterfalls in the park. My days of hiking are over, but the park will always live in my heart. Have you visited there? It’s a magical place, I think.
      Have a great week! ❤

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the poem, Eugenia. Thank you for your comment. ❤

      I saw some of your "About " photos taken in the mountains! They look wonderful! Are you near the Blue Ridge Parkway? The Skyline Drive, which goes through Shenandoah National Park, joins it. I traveled that far south once, a long time ago, and remember that it was lovely. We walked along a very picturesque stream somewhere along the parkway. Hope you get to the mountains soon. The spring flowers must be spectacular there!

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. We live about 71 (car miles) from Blue Ridge, GA, where we spend a lot of time. Blue Ridge is a little mountain town on the Georgia-Tennessee-North Carolina line. We would move there tomorrow if we could. Blue Ridge, Ga is just below the Blue Ridge Pkwy in Cherokee, NC. We have a friend that owns an Irish pub in Blue Ridge and he is in the process of adding an extension including a restaurant to his existing structure. He is from Ireland and at one time a priest in Atlanta. We miss our friends there and the beautiful scenery.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much, Ingrid, for your lovely comment! ❤ I lived in small towns in and around the Blue Ridge Mountains from ages 11-35 and raised my oldest daughter in the Shenandoah Valley. We spent a lot of time in Shenandoah National Park and enjoyed hikes to the park's seven waterfalls.

      I love the Gulf Coast of Florida with its dolphins, manatees, alligators, and tropical birds, but the Blue Ridge Mountains will always live in my soul. It's my pleasure to share. I thoroughly enjoyed your wonderful posts and photos about Slovenia, a truly beautiful place. Nature always inspires! Have a wonderful week! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

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  4. My dreams now play reruns of old memories,

    This is a very beautiful poem, Cheryl, and it also makes me wonder – do you ever feel that your dreams are actually shaping your memories to some extent? Do they every become difficult to distinguish from one another?

    Yours,
    David

    Liked by 5 people

    Reply

    1. Thank you, David, for your kind comment and interesting philosophical question. We all know that a waterfall that sings the “Hallelujah Chorus” is a metaphor in this poem. It expresses the awe and wonder inspired by the music of cascading water. Though written in a poem, the events are accurately recounted. The short answer to your question is no, I don’t believe my dreams affect my memories. Though memories are subjective, older people tend to remember the past very accurately. It’s the short-term memory that makes us lose our keys or forget to take our pills! 🙂

      This poem is a collage of vividly remembered experiences over many years of hiking in Shenandoah National Park. There are seven gorgeous waterfalls in the park and we hiked to them many times. I lived in three small towns in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia from ages 11-35 and raised my oldest daughter there. We spent many happy days exploring the mountains and fishing and swimming in the rivers.

      Dark Hollow Falls, in the photo, is where I hiked my last waterfall hike. I had left Virginia many years earlier and was visiting my sister there. We hiked to the falls together. On the way back up, I had to stop to rest many times. My sister waited patiently with me and encouraged me, and we finally made it to the top. It was on that day that I knew my days of hiking to waterfalls were over.

      Though I very seldom recall my dreams, I think I may dream of being in those beautiful places again, because I wake up thinking of them. I use the word “dream” primarily in the sense of nostalgia, a wish to be in my favorite places once more.

      I know you worked in DC. Have you visited Shenandoah National Park?

      All the best! ❤

      Liked by 2 people

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    1. Kevin, that sounds lovely. Thank you so much for reading and sharing your thoughts. ❤ I am glad that you share my enthusiasm for the park. I also played tourist for all the seven years I lived in DC. It's a great walking city, and there is always something to see and do.

      Stay safe and be happy! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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    1. Thank you so much, Cindy! ❤ Glad you enjoyed the poem. I recommend The Shenandoah National Park for a trip someday. You could tour Washington, DC, for a couple of days, rent a car, and drive down Skyline Drive. Spend a day or two in a rustic cabin, and do some hiking. The spring flowers are breathtaking, the autumn color is spectacular, and the deer are beautiful. Waterfalls were always my favorite hikes in Shenandoah National Park.

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      1. You are soooo welcome and I always love your poems. That sounds like a lovely idea. So many places to go in our own state. I do want to explore more National Parks this year and you are the perfect tour guide. Thanks you for the idea! ❤️

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Beautiful photo! “….in our youth, we find the hidden hollows,” brings back treasured memories of long ago. I’m thankful to be making more memories when we visit the Blue Ridge.

    Liked by 5 people

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      1. Not an issue, I think it’s about what’s important at a particular point of time. I know it’s difficult to catch-up everything at the same time.
        I was also upto my ears in work from previous couple of days.

        Anyway, it’s good to hear from you. Have a great week.
        And yes, Happy women’s day too.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Shanyu. ❤ Happy that you like the poem. It is a collage of memories from time spent in
      Shenandoah National Park. I lived in small towns in those mountains from ages 11-35, and my family spent a lot of time hiking and picnicking in the park. It will always have a place in my heart! All the best!

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      Reply

    1. Angela, it is worth a visit to Shenandoah National Park, at least! There are rustic cabins for rent and a hotel and lovely picnic areas. The Appalachian Trail runs through the park. Reservations need to be made well in advance!

      You might go to Washington, DC for a few days, ride around on the trolley, and visit some of the Smithsonian museums. Then rent a car and drive down Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park and take a couple of hikes while you are there. I think they probably still offer horseback riding too. If you ever do take such a trip, I will be happy to answer questions if I can.

      Glad you liked the poem. Hope all is well with you! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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