Author and herbalist Maia Toll suggested we meet at Dobra Tea on Lexington Avenue in downtown Asheville. As I stepped inside, my frantic disposition eased in response to the delicious smell of leaves and the quiet ambiance that embodies such a place. Read more

Mountain Explorer

Horse sense

Small Miracles photo

“Almost Home,” is a velvety instrumental recording featuring piano and acoustic guitar. With the complement of ambient sounds of nature from the Smoky Mountains woven into the tune, it becomes captivating. Read more


Fire Cider

Meg Reilley photo

I like to think of myself as a prepared person. Perhaps my brief stint as a Girl Scout in early adolescence left a mark so indelible that I took on “Be Prepared” as my personal lifelong mantra. Read more

Departments 1 Comments

There comes a time at which we each will question whether we have the will to survive. It’s a funny word—will. Within it is grit, mettle and an ability to withstand. In nature, instinct predicates survival be it for the individual or the species. Read more


Soothing the soul

Mandy Newham-Cobb illustration

I have two best friends and both of them are healers. I met the first in fifth-grade homeroom years ago. There was this quality that I couldn’t understand at the time which drew me to her. Read more

Good Reads

Horseback therapy

Therapeutic Riding Academy of Knoxville photo

Through the years, research has shown the positive effects of animal-assisted therapy. Several types of animals are regularly used in schoolrooms across the nation to facilitate learning, as well as in healthcare and assisted-living facilities. Read more


Growing chestnuts

Donated photo

The Smokies are renown for their biological diversity and scenic beauty. But a short drive along either of two scenic byways—The Blue Ridge Parkway or the Cherohala Skyway—provides a window on forests under attack from invasive exotics. Read more


Delma Kerley

Family photo

In 1944, at age 17, my grandmother, Delma Kerley, joined the United States Cadet Nurse Corps through Grace Hospital in Banner Elk, N.C. The U.S. government established the program in 1943 to ensure that the country had enough nurses. Read more


Healing waters

Rick Queen photo

Life was looking up when Bill Bowen was 25. He’d just landed a job as a logger, and as a lifelong hunter, nothing beat getting paid to be outside in the woods every day. But less than a week later, his world took a drastic turn. Read more


The dandelion doesn’t quite have “a million and one uses,” but dandelion—roots, leaves, and flowers—is a most versatile plant, and it can be harvested. It grows, well, like a weed, so it doesn’t appear to be in danger of being picked to extinction. Read more

Features 1 Comments

Donna Doyle

Donated photo

I doubt poetry would have helped my state of mind in the sudden hospitalization and ultimate loss of my husband, but now—a year on—reflecting on illness, loss, and death through poetry, prose, and art, seems a meaningful way to address the unspoken. Read more