After weeks of travel, it is refreshing to be back where the trees and trails are familiar. Dalkeith park was beautiful, but I like my fern valley, my trail that I know every twist and turn of. I have even remembered every spot where there is a fallen tree or a puddle of mud along the path. During a solo morning hike at this familiar place, it felt like I may have never left Scotland.
In Appalachia there is a lot of Scottish-Irish heritage. Part of my adventure involved learning about the culture where my mountain people came from. It seems that the Scotts and Irish may have settle there because it was reminiscent of home, with loads of rolling mountains and lush green grass. Having been where the people of the mountains came from, I believe I can better understand them. I know what hospitality means to them and what types of beauty move their souls.
The sounds and scenery of Kentucky have branched off of Scottish-Irish culture. There is bluegrass music and bourbon, just as there is Celtic music and whiskey. At one point in Ireland it felt as if I had transported back to Kentucky. The yellow field, with a blue barn and brown horse looked just like my Kentucky home.
While I would love to hop on the next plane to Ireland, Appalachia is where I need to go. At this moment, I need to be home, preparing for the time I make the mountains my permanent home. Someday I will join my mountain people whose forefathers crossed the ocean and settled where they felt at home.
Until then I will soak up the moments of familiarity I get. I will walk my trail and sleep in my old, creaky house, drive the routes I have driven hundreds of times before and dip my feet in the lake that has always been a stone throw away. One day, the house will be someone else’s and I will be miles away from my trail, my lake, and my roads.
When that happens I will embrace the new and make it familiar. Soon, Appalachia will be calling me and I will go, because that is where I will be perfectly placed and that is where I will find new trails, new lakes, and new roads to be my own.