The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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Heart of the Blue Ridge

Send the Mountain My Love

By Rose Carter Parmer © 2014

Online: October, 2014

I ran across something a while ago, on one of my Kindle book sites. it said, Give the Mountain My Love. Sat back and thought about it, so many things in my life pertain to that mountain back on the end of Timbertree Branch Road. We call it the McMurray Ridge, some say the New Hurland Ridge, and on the map it is called Bruno.

On that mountain there are at least 6 generations of McMurrays and Carters that I know of laying there waiting on the resurrection. There have been so many tears watering the grass back there, when our loved ones have gone on. There have been so many happy moments back there, from reunions, to picnics, to just sitting there watching the trees and listening to the wind blow. Nature at its finest.

I have seen a rainbow back there, through the raindrops. I have watched the sun come up back there, I have sat back there in the middle of the night, have seen deer, turkeys (been run through a field by one old turkey protecting her baby). I have walked all over the hills looking for mountain tea, with my Momma and Grandmother holding my hand and teaching me... Looking at the plants some of them unique to this area. My grandmother teaching me about sassafras twigs for toothbrushes. I go back every spring looking for wild violets, and I go look every fall 'cause the wild violets bloom there later than anywhere else around here.

Climbing that mountain with my mother and brothers and sisters, us laughing, exploring. Picking blackberries with Mom and the brothers and sisters. Walking down the hills and hollers and going in the old abandoned houses of kin folk there. Picnics there with my family, sitting on an old quilt and looking at the clouds. Introducing the new babies to the ones who have gone on. Introducing them to the joys of running around in that old cemetery, teaching them about the ancestors. Laying on an old quilt, watching for the Perseid meteor showers that occur every year, one year with my precious Daddy and kids. One year with my son and grandchildren.

I look at the old dogwood in the cemetery, part of the limbs dying, and wonder how much longer it's gonna be there. Is it waiting for me before it passes? I wonder how many generations have climbed in its branches. At least three I know.

I taught my kids to drive on that mountain, sit in the cemetery and read while they practiced driving back and forth and around the cemetery on that old dirt road . Walked at night up there, felt eyes watching us.

We go back there a lot just to renew ourselves, to visit with our brother, mother, grandmothers and grandfathers, the greats. Oh, the memories it brings back. I stood under a big old tree up there and married my husband.

When I come down off that mountain, my mind and heart are filled with love, memories, good and bad. My heart belongs to that old mountain, and one of these days, God willing, I will too. Yeah, I guess you could say every day, I Send the Mountain My Love.