The Overview Effect in Blue Ridge

The Overview Effect in Blue Ridge

It’s sometimes easy to forget where you are when walking or driving in the mountains. The high altitude numbers can become meaningless as you are swallowed up in the forest during a hike or driving around curvy, mountain roads. It takes time to reach a proper vantage point – like a ridge or a peak — to really take in the beauty and majesty of the mountains, and embrace them as a whole. This experience is one of the great gifts of hiking, and is reminiscent of astronauts describing the Overview Effect, a shift in awareness that occurs when seeing the Earth from the void of space:

What I saw out the window was all I had ever known, all I had ever loved and hated, all that I had longed for, all that I once thought had ever been and ever would be. It was all there suspended in the cosmos on that fragile little sphere. What I experienced was a grand epiphany accompanied by exhilaration….What I experienced during my three-day trip home was nothing short of an overwhelming sense of universal connectedness. I actually felt what has been described as an ecstasy of unity… I perceived the universe in some way conscious.

-Astronaut Edgar Mitchell

With that said, we pleased to present new aerial photos of Wheel Of Bliss and the surrounding mountains. Our space and the area nearby is but a sliver of Mother Earth, yet in seeing these photos we still feel our deep connection to Her. The pictures show that which words come up short in describing, and act as mirrors to reflect on our part to play in larger existence. While only a few of us will ever see the Earth from space, there are plenty of high views from home that aid us in deeper contemplation.

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