“We reached the top of a ridge”



We reached the top of a ridge, only to find another before us, and another beyond. I did not know what we might be looking for, or how we would know if we found it. Jamie covered miles with his tireless hill-walker’s stride, taking in everything. I tagged behind, enjoying the scenery, pausing now and then to gather some fascinating plant or root, stowing my treasures in the bag at my belt.
We made our way along the back of one ridge, only to find our way blocked by a great heath bald: a patch of mountain laurel that looked from a distance like a shiny bare patch among the dark conifers, but closer to, proved to be an impenetrable thicket, its springy branches interwoven like a basket.
We backtracked, and turned downward, out from under the huge fragrant firs, across slopes of wild timothy and muhly grass that had gone bright yellow in the sun, and at last back into the soothing green of oak and hickory, on a wooded bluff that overlooked a small and nameless river.
It was cool under the trees’ sudden shade, and I sighed in relief, lifting the hair off my neck to admit a breath of air. Jamie heard me and turned, smiling, holding back a limber branch so that I could follow him.
We didn’t talk much; aside from the breath required for climbing, the mountain itself seemed to inhibit speech; full of secret green places, it was a vivid offspring of the ancient Scottish mountains, thick with forest, and twice the height of those barren black parental crags. Still, its air held the same injunction to silence, the same promise of enchantment.
The ground here was covered in a foot-deep layer of fallen leaves, soft and spongy underfoot, and the spaces between the trees seemed illusionary, as though to pass between those huge, lichened trunks might transport one suddenly to another dimension of reality.

Excerpt From: Diana Gabaldon. “Drums of Autumn.” 


I declined a lovely invitation for the weekend of November 3rd & 4th. I told my non-Outlander obsessed friend that I had a previous commitment. My previous commitment is with Claire and Jamie Fraser, and all of you! 😘


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