Appalachian Trail Photo © Helida Dodd © Earth Day
Almost Heaven, West Virginia… These words never meant more than the summer of 2020.
After 22 years, I finally understood what the song means when it says “blue ridge mountains”.
And I understood why my throat chokes every time I hear this song.
Getting to Cranberry Mountain was an experience in itself. Memories of the inclines and untamed gravel roads that led to my grandparents’ house in Nicaragua came flooding back. Or maybe it felt like driving out to Mombacho Volcano where my breath falters wondering if the 4×4 truck is going to make it.
Cranberry Lodge © Helida Dodd © Earth Day
After miles and miles of nothing, we reached a beautiful, wood cabin perfectly nestled in the Appalachian Mountains in front of 7 majestic, mountain ridges.
A thick forest that goes on forever sits right below. Above, the green peaked mountains start mixing with deep blue shadows followed by another shade of blue, and make it seem like the mountains morph into the ocean. And depending on where the sun is hitting, sometimes it’s like being back in Caribbean blue waters. And finally, past the puffy clouds lays a powder blue sky.
It dawns on me. This is what John Denver meant by “Blue Ridge Mountains”…
Blue Ridge Mountains © Helida Dodd © Earth Day
Falling in love with these country roads was easy on my first trip. I thought it was because the mountains reminded me of my volcanoes. But then, it was the fall leaves, the scent of Thanksgiving, and my new, future family…
Shortly after came the summer trips that made me long to go back to its trails and pick blueberries to my heart’s content.
Helida Dodd of MarBella Perfumes
But the scent of those trails in the summer of 2020 revealed 2 decades of love. And my love letter went something like this:
“This trip is different. This trip feels like the mountains are mine, and not just because they remind me of Nicaragua, but because I adore being here.
I love the trees on the trail, the wild flowers that delight the senses, the solitude of the mountains, and the rugged terrain. I love the blue mountain ridge, the puffy clouds, and the abundant stars on a clear sky. I love the orange moon and the purple sunsets. And I love being here without sharing the trails, the steepness, and the ruggedness. I love it all.
Purple Sunset © Helida Dodd © Earth Day
The scent of the mountains and coziness of family gathering around the fire fill a longing in my quarantined heart… “country road, take me home”. The scent that refuses to go, even in the stillness of the night and unobtrusively seeps into my scent memory in the hopes that I won’t stay away too long… That I might yearn for the honeysuckle that quietly commands my attention and the sweet rhododendron that adorns the trail.
This summer, I don’t miss the new places I haven’t seen or the trip that was canceled.
Today I just want to sit in front of these 7 mountain ridges, listen to the wind, and enjoy the scent of nature restoring my soul.
After 22 years, I realize I must be a mountaineer at heart.”
The first Earth Day was observed on April 22, 1970 when 20 million Americans celebrated and stood for a healthy, sustainable environment. It wasn’t until 1990 when Earth Day went global, and today, more than 190 countries participate in this celebration.
Being raised on a Nicaraguan farm, surrounded by the beauty of nature, every day was Earth Day. It’s no coincidence that the smell of wet earth after it rains tugs at my heart and transports me to wild flowers, rivers, and jocote trees. And why the country roads of the Appalachian Mountains have carved a place in soul.
Rhododendron on the Trail © Helida Dodd © Earth Day
Ever Present is my ode to earth, formulated with natural materials. The packaging reflects the beauty it holds yet preserves that of its source. Each element, except for the plastic atomizer is recyclable, biodegradable, or compostable. At the heart of this light, airy, and fun perfume is raw beauty–the kind that makes people take notice of your quiet, but ever-present confidence and strength. Subtle. Nuanced. Harmonious. Just like our earth.
Marbella Perfumes is committed to celebrating the beautiful union of luxury and nature. Happy Earth Day! May you find your little piece of “Almost Heaven” wherever you are.
Guest Contributor Helida Dodd of www.marbellaperfumes.com
Ever Present Perfume © Helida Dodd © Earth Day
Thanks to the generosity of MarBella Perfumes, we have a draw for a 50 ml bottle of Ever Present for one registered reader of the USA. To be eligible please leave a comment about what specifically interests you about Helida’s story and what scents smell like home to you or what does Earth Day mean to you ? Draw closes 4/15/2022
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This content was originally published here.