Secret Falls is a graceful little waterfall on Big Creek, just south of Highlands, NC, not that far from some of my favorite waterfalls in the state (Rainbow and Turtleback in Gorges State Park). The western part of North Carolina is absolutely filled with awesome waterfalls, great and small and so many of them are an easy hike from the road. What is there about the sound of falling water and the feel of icy water on hot sweaty feet after hiking? Agh! This is my heaven right here and now. This is what I love to paint. With so much ugliness in the world these days, I have to remind myself that there is beauty and wonder all around me -- in the faces of so many really sweet people in my life and in the natural landscape so close by. That is why I love having an art studio in Asheville.
O Nature! I do not aspire
To be the highest in thy choir, -
To be a meteor in thy sky,
Or comet that may range on high;
Only a zephyr that may blow
Among the reeds by the river low;
Give me thy most privy place
Where to run my airy race.
In some withdrawn, unpublic mead
Let me sigh upon a reed,
Or in the woods, with leafy din,
Whisper the still evening in:
Some still work give me to do, -
Only - be it near to you!
For I'd rather be thy child
And pupil, in the forest wild,
Than be the king of men elsewhere,
And most sovereign slave of care;
To have one moment of thy dawn,
Than share the city's year forlorn.
--Henry David Thoreau