Photo by Michael Hudson
Twenty one years ago when I drove to Cullowhee, North Carolina to interview at Western Carolina University for a faculty position, I saw a billboard that said, “Welcome to God’s Country.” I think it was an omen. I accepted the position and moved there.
People told me about the seasons. They said I would enjoy a long fall and a long spring. There would be a little bit of snow in the winter and some more heat in August. That has closely proven true until the last few years as climate change slowly impacts us all. Nevertheless, there is always the majestic autumn.
Color season in the mountains of Western North Carolina is Nature’s parade of beauty. A biology professor at Western Carolina University predicts the fall color based on summer rainfall amounts. Tourists flock here to see it. We call them “Leafers.” They drive slowly and have out-of-state license plates. We understand. We “locals” find time to drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway to enjoy the display as well.
When I think of all the current chaos in our country, I think about Nature and its reliable seasons. Nature teaches us about change and how to respond to it and how to respect it. May our leaders do the same.