There were little signs around the house in Balsam, North Carolina, that we were not alone. At one point, a friend looked at me and point to the muddy spot on the porch and said, “Where did that come from?” Neither of us had been out hiking in muddy places so we just stood there looking and remembering that were reports of bears in the area. At this point, I took great comfort in the fact that the dogs were safely tucked away at Bark Avenue in Atlanta watching some doggy program on their flat screen TVs.

I always find a great deal of peace in the surroundings of Black Gum Hill. It’s a place to be quiet (we did not turn one television on the entire weekend) and a place to think about what once was, what has changed, and what hope will come to us in the future.