My Beloved Montreat

This is my safe place, my peaceful place, where I am the most secure in my own skin. This is where life happens, and relationships remain, regardless of life. When life takes an unexpected bend, these are the people that hold you, in their hearts, in their minds, in their prayers and in their actions. They hold your hand and they carry you. This is where I am embraced and where friends help me embrace change. This is where it’s ok to ask the deeply personal questions, because it’s not invasive.  It’s an avenue to understanding, to growing, to succeeding and to thriving, for all of us.  The people of this valley have faced tremendous heartache and unspeakable tragedy. There are survivors from every hardship imaginable, and still they walk the same paths they have taken for years, hand in hand, with friends they once met as clubbies. When the bend in the road reveals a hard fought victory, those fellow clubbies will stand behind you, watching you, cheering for you, wanting you to have the stage and feel the thrill of success. The victories are so much sweeter because we have shared the battle with those wanting to bear the load. This is where love crosses generations. My mother’s friends love her, they love me and they love my children.  I share that love with their families. My mother made a lifetime of memories here, I made a lifetime of memories here and now my own children are making a lifetime of memories. Montreat is people, woven together, spanning years, spanning miles and all the while remaining connected.  Montreat is the point of origin from which we venture out into the world.  We know that when it’s time to come home, she, and her people will welcome us with open arms, eager to embrace us.  If her sweetness could be bottled and sold, we would all be rich. But if it were readily available, it wouldn’t be what it is. Her inability to be replicated is what makes us love her so deeply, and yearn for her when we’ve been gone too long.  My week in my safe place has come to an end.  I’ve run her roads, climbed her trails, dipped my toes in her stream and spent precious hours with people that I adore. I’m refreshed and ready to venture beyond her iconic stone gate, because I know that I carry her and her people, in my heart wherever life takes me.

Montreat, how I love you, how I love you, my dear old Montreat…

© Gatewood Campbell, July 2011


3 thoughts on “My Beloved Montreat

  1. Oh Gatewood, I am crying. Your words are so beautiful. So true. I love you..Cheairs

  2. Cheairs….you are indeed one of my Montreat treasures! I love you to the top of Lookout and back down a gazillion times!!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful……I want to jump in the car and head that direction.

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