View from Sandy Mush: Conservation Notes “Here We Are”


Not fully in the busy world, nor quite in the world beyond, lies Sandy Mush. Geographically tucked into the Northwest corner of Buncombe County, extending just across the Madison County line, Sandy Mush is less a place subject to modern political boundaries than the confluence of isolated mountain coves and valleys which transcend time.  In the late 1700s, the first European explorers and settlers were struck by the exceptional beauty here.  While that may have been revelation to them, native Americans had known it for centuries before.  Of necessity, those who arrived to live on this land were in tune with nature and seasonal cycles, understood woodlore and developed vast respect for the world around them.   Many of the original farm families who cleared the timber and tilled the fields for the past 200 years developed and depended upon these same instincts.   All of them knew what some more recent arrivals have discovered: Sandy Mush has deep soul.  If we pause to observe and listen, the land still speaks to us.   As newcomers to an ancient landscape, the challenge is to meet the mountains on their terms, with open minds, humility and respect, to wisely conserve our fields, forests and vistas as a matter of sacred obligation to yesterday, today and tomorrow.

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