Why You Should take an Autumn walk in Asheville, NC
It was a good weekend. We were in the mountains for a retreat, talking through some intense subject matter, and by Sunday afternoon the two of us introverted extroverts needed time to process. Also, the prospect of excellent coffee seemed a boon to tiredness and Asheville fit the bill: close, good coffee, and small enough city in which to walk from place to place.
We headed there to discover an evening of unusual beauty. Asheville always somehow manages to outdo itself with lovely weather, which in late autumn means mild temperatures, slow winds, and the colors at the height of their fire.
It was glorious. We stopped for our coffee at High Five, of course, and set off from there to go do some outdoorsy shopping. Really, both of us shouldn't be allowed to go into outdoor stores like Mast's General Store by ourselves. Still, by dint of personal exertion we avoided spending hundreds of dollars on outdoor coats, pants, scarves, hats, or even locally made earrings. I didn't take any photos here, I was too busy trying on Marmot and Patagonia sweaters.
Have you heard of the flash? It's a concept L.M. Montgomery introduced in her "Emily of New Moon" series and is best described that that quick, sharp pang of joy that shoots through you when you see something particularly beautiful. It could be the sun on a leaf, a particular color of cloud in a sunset that disappears a second later, or the quick crook of a smile in a stranger. It's that feeling that makes you catch your breath in wonder.
It's what I felt when the sun poured down this avenue and the wind simultaneously scattered gold through the air. It is a scene that will likely come back to me all my life, like the time I was on a train and saw a single drop of water about to fall from a branch near the train. Why do our eyes zero in on these things? They are profound in transient glory.
Never underestimate the power of a moment, or a simple evening walk.
If ever you want to feast your eyes on alternative fashions head to Asheville. I always love to see what the residents will come up with next, and though I'd probably never wear any of it personally, love the colorful expression of oddities they choose to don.
I'll tell you a secret...
Asheville is weird, quirky, delicious, and one of the best places in the Southeast in which to take a walk. If you love to ramble, do take a day and hit these spots and discover a few more on your own.
Then come back here and tell me about it.
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