I didn't know how much I needed to hit reset until I went here. Until I stared out into colors, breathing in pauses, I didn't begin to understand how far I'd traveled away from moments of nothingness, that space and time that brings me closer to me, and in that, closer to the world.

Outside Marion, North Carolina, nestled close to Lake James, I hit reset. When I sat the first evening in unfamiliar Asheville, eating some of the best vegetarian fare I've had in quite some time at the Laughing Seed Cafe, I could distance myself, even if for just moments, from the frenetic busyness of my semester.

Unlike other semesters (although I do have a meltdown somewhere near 2/3 completion due to that overwhelming sense of piling piles), this one has been particularly overloaded. And yes, I am the one who gave me such a mess. While there has been plenty of enjoyment in my classes, that is often shrouded by my focus on how much friggin work I do.

I hit reset sitting in Woody's Original Mountain Music on a Friday night, expecting a fantastic bluegrass jam, not an off-key mediocre music community night. Walking into the brightly lit room, I knew my people were not present in this mix of VFW Hall Senior Center Baptist Church audience. But it didn't matter since I could lose myself in operation observation, feeling a bit out of body as I watched people constantly greet each other, waving at their familiar, clapping loudly for this Friday night entertainment.

In the windy cold breezes of Lake James, hanging out on the pontoon, I smiled at fall, at turtles hanging atop a tree trunk, at a blue heron regally flapping its wings above the water. I stopped to listen, quiet away from my mind's chatter. Reset.

I left some of my constant worry about everything I need to get done while driving the roads of the Blue Ridge Parkway between Little Switzerland and Asheville. I remembered gratitude for what is and what is to come.


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