West Prong Little Pigeon River, Sugarlands. 
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
© 2014 Kristina Plaas, All Rights Reserved

On a sunny winter afternoon,
I wandered where a path followed
The river, cold and clear,
As it descended from sugared mountains
Towards the tourist-trap filled town.
Some come seeking 'shine and souvenirs
in crowded shops and clogged streets.
I come seeking solace and solitude
among the towering trees and
water crashing over rounded rocks.
Thirsty pilgrims journeying
To the promised land.
While promises of dubious worth are fast fleeting,
The river remains steadfast --
Flowing through flood or snow
Or drought of fall.
Eternal water for the soul.
And I come.

I have been looking though my photos files for the year and selecting those that speak to me most for a year-in-review feature on my Facebook page. The problem is I'm finding more unedited images that i now have the skills to refine so I'm posting as much new content as previously posted images. Among the hidden treasures for February was this image of the clear water of the West Prong that flows past Park Headquarters and into Gatlinburg. The Gatlinburg Trail follows the river from Sugarlands Visitors Center to the park boundary. On a chilly, sunny afternoon last winter I walked the trail and embraced the joy of being at the river.

Reflecting on the experience tonight brought a passage of scripture to mind, which in turn inspired the poetic phrases above. When I can't find a way to express what I'm feeling in an understandable way, I can usually capture the emotion in a photograph, a few scribbles of the pen, or in Holy Writ. Tonight all three joined together in a rather abstract, artsy way. Eternal water for my soul.

Come, my brethren, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come buy and eat; yea, come buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy. Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken; and come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted, and let your soul delight in fatness.
Behold, my beloved brethren, remember the words of your God; pray unto him continually by day, and give thanks unto his holy name by night. Let your hearts rejoice.
2 Nephi 9:50-52, The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ


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