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Yavas-Yavas in the Smoky Mountains

We had the pleasure of spending a few days in the Smoky Mountains this week. Our camping spot was nice and quiet with a stream running behind it which we could hear when the windows to our camper were open. We were feeling pretty zen…enjoying nature and even forest bathing! A perfect time to actually slow down and enjoy life and each other, Yavas-Yavas.

But we are human after all, and sometimes even in the perfect setting to slow down your life, we can be faced with challenges to speed up and move along. Some of these thoughts come from inside of our busy brains and some come from other people. Today, as we were enjoying a 2.7 mile hike to a waterfall we saw beautiful, unique things in nature and took pictures of them. We came across an awesome stump that had been pecked by a woodpecker and eaten by bugs so much that they had created a hole the size of a fist so that you could see all the way through it, into the woods beyond. I was so captured by the stump that I wanted to take a picture through the hole and was certain it would be a unique shot that we could look back on over the years recalling when we were hiking in the Smoky’s. The trail we were on was narrow, full of tree roots and rocks. Often when we met someone coming towards us, either they scooted to the side or we did, as the trail seemed to want people to walk in single file. When people quickly came up from behind we let them pass so we could enjoy the walk and not feel pressure to walk faster.

Narrow trail to the waterfall

And so it was when I spotted the cool see-through stump. I could hear people coming behind us so I told my husband we can stop and take the picture of the stump on the way back, lets just keep walking now so we don’t slow down the people behind us. That statement right there…’don’t slow down the people behind us’…is a problem. If I truly believe that I need to slow down, that it’s good for my health and makes life more enjoyable…I should be helping others to slow down as well…not just in a blog post, but in real life every day. In an overly dramatic way, you could say I robbed the other people of an opportunity to slow down and take in the wonder of a forest in the mountains.

A view from behind the waterfall

My husband and I enjoyed the waterfall, walking behind it, climbing on large rocks and downed trees to get closer to the rushing water. And even though we kept looking for the see-through stump on the way back, we never saw it again. We were coming at it from a different angle and somehow we missed it. Even though we were sure we would be able to take a picture on the way back. I realize it’s only a picture…if we really wanted to, we could walk that trail again tomorrow and probably find it again on the way up to the waterfall. But that’s not the point. I was reminded today to stop and smell the roses (or take a picture of a see-through stump) because the next time you come that way, your point of view might be different and you just might not notice it the second time around.

Beautiful wildflowers in the Smoky Mountains