Archives for August 1991

The Mail Boxes – I

Leaving Green Cove is a difficult move — though I’ve been here only a matter of months, I’ve formed a tremendous attachment to this place. The people, the walk from the mail-boxes, blackberries along the way, the icy dip hole, the porch swing,… Yes, mostly the people.

Lisa, with her long red hair and deep, beautiful accent, and her laugh and smile that are known all over the valley of Tessentee.

Skip, like a big teddy bear with the experience and wisdom of a great oak tree — having learned over time and years through many moons and stars.

Craig and Mason — the logistite twins, laughing into the night, blaring music, helping out, and always looking loving, though somewhat confused.

At present, I’m sitting on the bridge by the mail boxes. It has rained heavily for the last day or so, so the small creek is now over flowing with energy. It flows from the top of the nearby mountains that I’ve trod with my own feet, and through what has been my home at Green Cove.

I look at the rocky stream bed and know it is only appropriate that the creek be so alive now — it is carrying not just the recent rains, but also a tremendous amount of love, caring, and phenomenally powerful experiences.

The bridge serves as a gateway for me. Coming home from expeditions, and at the end of the marathon, this bridge represented the doorway to a world where I was secure, happy, and very proud.

Perhaps that is why I now find it so hard to simply drive past and leave it behind. For on the other side — the "outside" of this bridge, I have no idea where the water flows. The gravel road which I have come to know ends, and a world of emotionally void asphalt begins. The full moon was just two days past, and I know without question that this has been the moon which I had anticipated since long ago when I was a student here. We tell students "your course begins when you leave here." Indeed.

As this moon wanes and I move on, the experiences of this summer will have impacted me forever. I leave here proud of my accomplishment and scared but ready to face my unknown future. I am Outward Bound!

Mail Boxes – II

Copyright (C), 1998, by Ashley Guberman

Bartram Trail

Blue Ridge Mountains, NC

I’ve come to a wooden bridge just below a 30′ drop of cascading water. Well below the path of the stream, the trees open up to expose the valley below. The clouds above are actively moving about, but are mostly friendly in nature.

The rest of my party has moved on — more concerned with some arbitrary goal of a campsite than with the sights within arms reach. I, however, feel the need to pause momentarily, for it appears that during the hustle and bustle of daily activities, the larger part of summer has simply gone by without notice.

Here and there, I see small patches of leaves that are beginning to change. Rather than believe that Fall is already upon me, I think that a few enterprising trees have simply jumped the gun. Yet, as days go by, and still another moon comes to fullness, there is no denying that the seasons shall soon change. In fact, it is not only the seasons, but rather the way I shall be living within them — all is about to change.

Copyright (C), 1998, by Ashley Guberman

Wheatfield Branch

Blue Ridge Mountains, NC


I am lying down on a tiny sheet of plastic with all of my being intently focused on the art of staying dry. Ordinarily, this would be no big deal, except that I am once again under the tarps set up by Outward Bound students who are presently out on solo.

Fortunately, beneath the two plastic tarps 10′ by 14′ long, one can find a bodies-length of dryness if one looks carefully, remains diligent, and flips all the edges of ones ground sheet upwards to form a life raft. The moral of this story is never let students make mistakes that you can not get yourself out of.

Copyright (C), 1998, by Ashley Guberman

A Passing Storm

It is a clear, sun-shiny day here at Green cove, yet the air is filled with the violent sound of thunder from over the mountains. Breezes here on the ground are gentle, yet a glance up through the trees reveals a turbulent sky filled with motion and activity.

Free from the burden of keeping dry, I seat myself on a rock in the middle of the cove — surrounded on all sides by mountains sloping steeply upward. Listening closely, the storm is neither approaching nor receding -instead, it is diligently moving around green cove — patiently surrounding the valley on all sides.

The sky is beginning to darken, and a light rain has begun to fall — early harbingers of a massive onslaught that could come at any moment. Yet rather than dropping her load on this peaceful community of green cove, mother nature seems to be moving on this time. At the height of tension, the sound of a single bird could be heard chirping off in the field, only then to be joined by others. As if by some magical authority, this solitary bird had called to all the others that the coast is clear, so that they could again go on with their daily activities.

Copyright (C), 1998, by Ashley Guberman