“O World, I Cannot Hold Thee Close Enough!”

driveway in autumn blog

(My driveway in autumn)

Well, it turns out that I had so many mountain sky images I wanted to share with you that I decided to do a second sky post.  I hope you don’t mind.  I like to think of this as a way to have my virtual neighbors out there in Blogland sit a spell on my front porch with me.  So, go ahead, have a seat—in the rockers or the swing—whatever you prefer.   I’m really glad you came to visit.

And instead of my own inadequate words (trying to express the inexpressible) here’s a poem from Edna St. Vincent Millay that I’ve always liked because I think it captures so perfectly that feeling I get sometimes when the sky is so blue and the maple leaves so red and the world so achingly beautiful that I feel like I’m going to bust.  I’m sure you know what I’m talking about, but if you don’t, then you probably need to go find a porch to sit on.  Or maybe a trail to hike.  Or sometimes all it takes is a little patch of grass where you can stretch out on your back and gaze up—-into the infinite and always changing sky.

God’s World

Edna St. Vincent Millay

O WORLD, I cannot hold thee close enough!
Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!
Thy mists that roll and rise!
Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag
And all but cry with colour! That gaunt crag
To crush! To lift the lean of that black bluff!
World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!

Long have I known a glory in it all,
But never knew I this;
Here such a passion is
As stretcheth me apart. Lord, I do fear
Thou’st made the world too beautiful this year.
My soul is all but out of me,—let fall
No burning leaf; prithee, let no bird call.

 sunrise blog

(My favorite sunrise ever from our porch.)

clouds and shadows blog

(I love how light and shadows dance across the mountains when there are clouds.)

rainbows and blue skies blog

(Well, I couldn’t do TWO sky posts without at least ONE rainbow shot!)

After the Rain blog

(Yes, the sky really was this color that day. Those are mammatus clouds.)

layered cloud blog

(Some more unusual cloud formations. The layered clouds that look a bit  like a stack of pancakes are lenticularis clouds.)

winter sunrise blog

(Yet another sunrise. Yawn.  Yes, of course I’ m kidding–I never tire of sunrises.)

night sky blog

(Of course, I had to show at least one night sky.)

sky curtain blog

(Yes, the black at the top really was like that—as though a shade were being lowered on the sunrise.  And, in fact, the black shade DID eventually fall, blocking out the sun.  And we had a rather fierce, but exciting early morning storm.)


26 Responses to ““O World, I Cannot Hold Thee Close Enough!””

  1. Pat Says:

    I’m speechless again. I really, really love a long range view. I was going to pick a favorite but that’s impossible.

  2. Jeff Says:

    Wonderful photos! Don’t you love it when Venus and Mercury appear in the morning sky? And when the moon is horizontal and thin? Are you good at picking out the constellations? I can only name a few of them; Orion and Taurus are the ones I manage to pick out most often. Are the leaves turning already? I was in Asheville last November and the whole area was afire, but this early? Maybe a sign of a cold winter?

  3. clairz Says:

    Aren’t those mammatus clouds amazing? I saw and photographed my first ones a month or so ago. I figured the whole world would be outside, wondering, but I was the only one…

    Beautiful photos and wonderful choice of poem. Thank you, Beth.

  4. Benjamin Says:


    I really like those pictures a lot. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the sky like it was in those mammatus shots. Just what I needed after an only so-so day to make it a better one.

    I love seeing the beauty you put into this world!

  5. Neas Nuttiness Says:

    What a fantastic driveway. It looks a lot like my parents property, in Missouri. I’ll have to post photo’s of their place one of these days!

  6. june Says:

    Gorgeous all…you are truly blessed to be able to enjoy this show from your porch! Did you notice your rainbow is a double?

  7. Martha Says:

    Wow, Beth, amazing. I gotta get me one of these views 🙂

    “…and the world so achingly beautiful that I feel like I’m going to bust…” Yup, I know that feeling very well. I experience it when I’m near an ocean, a field of wildflowers, on top of a mountain, inside a forest or on a hiking trail. I also get that feeling when my backyard is full of birds, when it’s foggy, when the clouds are big and fluffy or when the moon is full. There are so many things that make me feel like I’m going to bust that I’m surprised I haven’t blown up yet… 🙂

  8. Debi Kelly Van Cleave Says:

    Yes, I do know what you’re talking about. We got interviewed today by a newspaper lady for our new business and she was asking how long we’ve lived here and how did we like it and I almost started crying when I started talking about how beautiful I think it is. It was embarrassing!

  9. betsyfromtennessee Says:

    Wow Beth…That is the best set of sky pictures I’ve seen in a long time. You live in one of the most beautiful areas of the country—and it shows through your pictures. Love the poem–but those pictures really don’t need words.


  10. Jayne Says:

    Oh Beth…we’d like nothing more than to sit on that front porch with you and behold the glory of your skies. Just breathtakingly gorgeous!!

  11. Judy Says:

    WOW Beth! Your photos get better every time you post one. That view from your driveway is just breathtaking. I am picturing myself having coffee with you this morning. It is raining cats and dogs here and has been for days. My yard is up to my knees but I can’t get a chance to mow it. So, sitting on your porch and taking in your beautiful scenery is sure better than anything here this morning. Thanks for inviting me over. I sure did enjoy the coffee, the swing, and especially you and your mountains!

  12. Clara Melvin Says:

    WOW! Beth, I surely did enjoy my vist with you this morning. I’m so thrilled you decided to do a second post on skies. That is the most beautiful set of sky pictures I have ever seen. You are truly blessed to live there in the mountains. I wish I lived closer to you!

  13. CountryDew Says:

    Great shots. Very peace-inducing.

  14. Ariel Says:

    No one can ever accuse you of not being thankful for what you have. That’s one of the best things about your blog, is that it reminds us to remember what we have and give thanks for it. It is a testament to the beauty of your pictures that they can conjure up that heart-a-bustin-with-joy feeling.

    Also, Debi: “We got interviewed today by a newspaper lady for our new business and she was asking how long we’ve lived here and how did we like it and I almost started crying when I started talking about how beautiful I think it is. It was embarrassing!” That’s not embarrassing, that’s sweet. 🙂

  15. wesleyjeanne Says:

    Lovely lovely as always Beth. Each time your posts are better and better and more and more beautiful.

  16. Sharon Says:

    Beth, I wish I could sit on your porch with you. Maybe someday.

  17. NCMountainwoman Says:

    Just beautiful. I used that very poem in an autumn post last fall. It has always been one of my favorites.

  18. anita Says:

    Those are extraordinary photos! We never get the full panorama like you do (we are down in a hollow, sort of, surrounded by trees), so I really enjoyed seeing these. You reminded me that I want to find a book on clouds—I used, way back in the dim past, to be able to identify them, but I’ve forgotten it all now.

  19. colleen Says:

    The sky always reminds me of the holy as if the clouds will part and God will appear. These shots are majestic in that way.

  20. Lora Martin Says:

    I had never read that poem, and want to gratefully thank you for posting it. Sky-watching is something I’ve always been partial to, and you’ve captured some perfect “feeling” shots. Thank you so very much for the visit from your porch.

  21. eemilla Says:

    We really are so lucky here to be able to enjoy both sunrise and sunset; my honey and I just returned from San Francisco, and the sunsets were all eaten by fog.

    Beautiful photos!

  22. Lisa Says:

    These pictures are incredible and you shared my favorite poem about nature and my favorite quote by John Muir! Where exactly do you live to see such views from your porch??? I would love to sit there with you! Lisa ( from Pa.)

  23. blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

    Hi there, Lisa. Thanks for sitting on my virtual porch and for your kind words about my photos! We live near Asheville, North Carolina in the country in a doublewide on a windswept hilltop. We feel very blessed to wake up every day to such beauty. It has been a healing place for us.

    Thanks again for visiting!


  24. kate Says:

    I love the poem and recite it often. How lucky you are to have such magnicicant changing views from your porch – it’s as if she wrote it just for you – just as she wrote it just for me. Kate

  25. Karen Lawrence Says:

    Wonderful photos and the perfect poetry. Our blue ridge view is like this, too. We are in the Sperryville, VA. area. Where are you?
    Thank you.

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Hi, Karen…we’re about 10 miles north of Asheville, NC. But we love the Virginia mountains, too. My husband grew up in Roanoke, and we’ve considered moving north when we retire, though we do want to stay somewhat close to our children in North Carolina.

      Thanks for commenting!

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