It is more mountain than town, more sky than buildings. The sun is closer here, practically coating your skin in its hot embrace before it has even reached its highest point in the sky. The air is fresh and dry, sweeping away any serious thoughts or unnecessary tasks as you gaze out at the lake.
Time, too, seems to slip away here as you forget what day it is, what hour, during long morning nature walks and afternoon naps. The roads are home to trucks and deer--those graceful animals seen foraging along the roadside, loping back into the woods--and you find your mind wandering, drifting past those roads into the wilderness, as surely as your car wound deeper into the mountains only a day or two before.
During one of your morning hikes, you stumble upon a family of deer. They stand in a grove by the street, almost ten in all, their long ears leaning forward to take in the sounds of the woods, to figured out who you are. They are no more than a few yards away. As if deciding you are no real threat--yet still wary--they slowly take off across your hiking path, long legs taking them deeper into the woods, far away from the presence of humans. You marvel at their grace, grateful for this sighting.
You marvel, too, at the resiliency of the land, scarred over by fires that consumed so much forest, charred and blackened trees standing like ghostly sentries guarding the town, memories of a too-hot summer, a too-hungry fire. Yet you see it, once you look past the blackened branches: new growth, little flares of green making their way up out of the blackened soil, ready to heal those wounds. The earth knows no other way but to keep moving forward, to keep planting and tending its seeds.
And even as you know you have only experienced the surface of the town--a local nail salon and a steak house--you admire its long line of shops down main street and the way nature seems to take even those building over, as if the heart of the town lies at its outskirts where the hints of urbanity fade under the caress of nature. Yes, this is a place more mountain than town.
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