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I spent a long weekend camping with my family at one of our favorite spots, Pilot Mountain State Park. We love spending time in this special place, and we hike there year-round.
We went to the summit one evening just before sunset and I couldn’t resist shooting a short video to share this landscape with you. The first views above are from that evening, looking toward Winston-Salem and then the Blue Ridge.
The second view is from one of our hikes in the morning, of Hanging Rock and Sauratown Mountain toward east of Winston-Salem. One of the unique aspects of this spot is that as you do different hikes in the park, you’ll have the chance to see 360 degrees of landscape from Pilot Mountain. Since the mountain’s rocky formation juts out of the surrounding hills, it’s not surprising that it was used as a navigational landmark and was called Jomeokee or “great guide” by the area’s first inhabitants.
My family and I often have interesting conversations as we walk. One of the ideas that came up was the meaning of the words grit and resilience. My husband took the position that they are one and the same. I argued they aren’t, but that there is overlap and that the two qualities can go hand in hand. In the last year since the pandemic hit, I’ve been thinking of resilience a lot. I didn’t realize it until relatively recently, and it feels like an important quality to cultivate now. Anyway, my brother, being the rational person he is, recommended we simply look up the definitions. So here they are from my good old American Heritage College Dictionary:
*grit: indomitable spirit; pluck
resilience: the ability to recover quickly from illness, change, or misfortune; buoyancy
I often feel gratitude to have such beautiful places just a short drive away from home. Spending time at Pilot Mountain walking and looking and listening fills me with contentment and with inspiration for my work. Now it’s back to the studio!
Find some paintings inspired by my time at Pilot Mountain here and bring some peaceful energy of the outdoors into your space.
*I like the way Angela Duckworth talks about grit in her aptly named book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. You can watch her TED talk here.