The sun sets over Wauhatchie Pike, it's kind of a shitty sunset. Clouds from the West are billowing up like a smoke stack, muting out the sun. Fitting really, in 1969 at its industrial worst, Chattanooga had the highest air pollution in the country. In earnest though, deep oranges and hints of red fight their way around the clouds, determined to give a show. To the South, trees roll over the border into Georgia. To the North, the Tennessee River scurries around sheer cliffs and mountains. Lookout Valley is the winner from this vantage. It looks like a giant foam pit....a gradient of greens....the kid in me wants to take a running leap off into it. But I'm no kid, I feel my mortality, and keep my distance from the edge of Sunset Rock as winds gust over the peaks.
I've spread my mothers ashes here. I've come to talk to her. I've made this all so poetic, because that's how I want it to feel. The more profound it looks...seems...the more profound it feels, at least that's the hope. It doesn't this time.
Last visit, a butterfly landed on my shoe, another just below, and both stayed for quite some time. I convinced myself it was my mother, and brother, saying hi. Either way, it felt good. I would've liked that again. Nothing doing, I said some words I meant, but didn't feel. I snapped some more boring sunset shots, and with my iPhone flashlight, found my way up the trail.
The night descends on me, as I descend down Lookout Mountain. I wouldn't call Chattanooga home, but now that my Mom is here, it feels like it. That too is fitting, she was always the center of our family. The person we all came back to.
See you soon Chattanooga.