'Round These Mountains

We Have Leaves!

So far, this has been a year of high expectations and false starts. Spring 2021 is on that wobbling track—following those tantalizingly warm weeks in early March with a few frosty nips and then the crisping of tender new growth as temps plummeted to mid-20s in the days before May arrived.

Cool air always settles along our creek banks when a ridge to the east corrals chilled winds.  That may lead to our trees’ leaves always appearing later than those we see in Hiawassee and Blairsville. And here, too, among the freshly filling treetops are my greige crepe myrtle casualties. We’re not seeing the brittle ruins of 2012’s late freeze, but rough enough.

For all its setbacks, 2021 is coming through with an extra burst of vitality, like the rhodos, wild azaleas, and determined peonies. Most of us are steadily recovering as are our landscapes—and hopefully, the pinched apple, blueberry, and strawberry crops. Many growers are still awaiting a verdict on the vineyards. Despite our frustrations and apprehensions, everyone seems eager to see life surge into our communities again.

Weeks ago, once I had bumbled through my minimalist WordPress launch, the latest round of national stepping-back was settling in. Enthusiasm for re-openings had been tamped again. And I was also learning that writing the last lines of a book was by no means the end of the process. Not even close.

This week, as the radiance of spring races up the mountains surrounding the rising lakes that reflect brilliant blue skies, our new growing season is finally underway. Excitement is also blooming in our mountain towns as stories of economic growth and revived events are filling my notepads. We, too, are finally underway at the Georgia Mountains Journal.