Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Why Way is North?

Legend has it that moss grows on the north side of trees.

So if you're lost in the woods, and you can't see the sun, you should check out the bottoms of the oaks.

On a recent walk I noted that this tree would not serve that purpose.

It has moss growing on every side.

All the way around.

I have long been somewhat directionally challenged. I am easily turned around when driving or walking. When Valley View Mall first opened, I had to visit it about five times before I could figure out where I was. That mall is not that big. Now I don't have any problem but I remember how much it troubled me at first.

I have lived here long enough to know that Roanoke is somewhat south of me. Craig County lies to my west; far beyond, the great Mississippi River. Rockbridge County and the Shenandoah Valley is to my north. Bedford is east, and beyond that, eventually, (hundreds of miles), is the Atlantic.

Sometimes I feel like geography is not my best subject, but I can, usually, find what I need on a map without expending great effort.

But I would be lost if I depended on that tree.

Life has many directions, doesn't it? Ups and downs, ins and outs, good and bad. Win some, lose some, give some, take some. Happy days, sad days, friend-filled days and lonesome ones.

Sometimes bad stuff just happens. Sometimes good stuff just happens. There is a bit of  the roll of the die in the day. You work and work and still, despite your best efforts, plans don't come together. The stars do not align, and the world is not your oyster.

The squirrels are busily stuffing their mouths with acorns. The trees are shedding their leaves. The grass is growing browner by the day. The seasons, so far, we can count on (though maybe a little earlier this year). Winter is not far off.

It takes all of our effort some days just to get out of bed, but other days we bound forth like mighty gods or goddesses, eager to rule the world. What a conundrum humanity seems to be.

Apparently I'm seeking a little direction this morning, for I ramble. So I shall bid you, dear reader, a fond farewell, and thank you kindly for reading.


  1. i've heard that about trees and found too that it isn't always the case! i'm horrible with direction. i used to know which way was what in ca, have to coast to guide you after all, but ever since leaving, i'm a mess!

  2. I grew up in Southern California. If you stand looking at the mountains, that is north. Your left will then be the direction of the ocean. S for me, North is towards the mountains and the ocean is in the west. I am still all turned around here where there are mountains in every direction!

    It was easier when we lived in Hawaii. There were only two directions, Mauka (towards the mountains) and Makai (towards the ocean). It made things a lot easier!

  3. You should not ever ask me for directions because I can get lost in a paper bag, or so Grenville tells me, and I think he may be right. I do enjoy map reading, but am thankful to have a GPS when driving alone. And, I can understand about going to a place and still being confused abut directions.

  4. Even with a GPS, I'm directionally challenged. Actually, the GPS makes it worse because I completely depend on it and then it's wrong.
    I've heard that saying about the moss/tree and also found it wasn't true. Maybe somewhere in the world it's true, but not in Virginia : )


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