My friend’s family owns property in Meadows of Dan, Virgina. For the last year, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the cabin on a handful of occasions and have really come to love the area.

It may help that the area is just off of the Blue Ridge Parkway, too that it’s near a handful of wineries; also that it nurtures a creative vibe that seems to breed around mountain folk – a creative vibe that’s passionate about the land, the people of the land and the love of it all.

Talk about some of the best things in life coming together in one place! It’s an area of the country that’s full of beauty and creation. Even in the ugly-duck-phase of winter, there is still a resonance of lively things about to burst forth in joyful appreciation of the land and lives around it.

My friend’s cabin sits on old family property that’s still-green with life. There is an apple tree just in front of the cabin that is laden in the month of August. I made my first homemade applesauce from its harvest last year. There’s a dip in the land just beyond the tree and the view from the porch opens up into a vast field. I’ve picnicked in this field, letting the bright sun and vibrant blue sky remind me of the dreams in my soul. At night, the field and tree line mix into a shared blackness, so that all your attention is focused on the sky chock-full of dazzling stars. On several occasions, covered by the darkness of mountain-night, I’ve made peace in my heart.

It’s a quiet place. It’s a perfect space to hide from the busyness of the world, from the insanity of your schedule and focus instead on the untapped creativity that simmers within. Being at the cabin and soaking in the creative vibe that suffuses the local communities is among my most favorite of experiences. I’ve nicknamed the experience “mountain-zen.”

And I’ve come to crave and appreciate each new opportunity that may come with living through the experience of mountain-zen.


In a couple of days, I’m taking my mom to the cabin and introducing her to the pleasure that exists on top of the mountain.

My friend has been encouraging me to invite her to this place for some time now. And finally, the right time has come. The perfect combination of availability on many fronts has provided an opportunity for me to share this zen space with mom, and I couldn’t be more excited. It’s a belated Mother’s Day gift, but it’s a perfect gift and honors the idiom: “Good things come to those who wait.”

If there’s anyone I know who deserves zen, it’s my mom. She works hard – all the time. In the face of roadblocks and cliff-edges, she carves for herself a new path. And she does it in her own special way, with grace and a resolute spirit. Her example continues to challenge me. She encourages me through her actions to join the matriarchs of my family who exhibit strong characteristics of determination, persistence, ingenuity, creativity and passion.

In the last several months, my mother has proven to me that her support in my development as a writer isn’t just lip service, it lives in the actions she takes to provide for my well-being. In this way, she feeds the future of my dreams.

And I stand in awe of her sacrifice; and I swear to myself that her investments won’t be in vain.

We’re leaving Monday morning to share in mountain-zen. I hope she loves it as much as I do. I hope that the juices of creativity will seep in and add its unmistakable spice to the already simmering pot of her soul.

Like many moms and daughters, we share a special connection – a consequence of both the nature and nurture of our relationship. I hope that we can share this too: the delight and renewed sense of spirit that mountain-zen is known to bring.