«Something magical happens when you are so far up in the sky, reaching high up to the heavens. Maybe it is something that resides in the ground beneath you, something that takes place inside the body when trekking, walking, living that style of life where you are so deeply and continuously connected with the Earth, the sky, the animals, and the stars, where you are always aware of your oneness with nature. Think about the music, the art, the food, the ideas that come from mountain country. Think about the connection. In 2018, my father was inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame, and we traveled there to accept the award in his honor. When I arrived in West Virginia, I was greeted by such incredible warmth, kindness, and love, as though I was greeted by family who had known me all my life. It was astoundingly beautiful. Listening to people gathering in circles, completely spontaneous, joining together in song, their eyes closed, heads back, hearts open, and the mountain songs and hymns pouring out of them with all their soul, this is not unlike the love and collaboration I witnessed in any of these other places. I have a friend, Shyam Nepali, who is a musician from Nepal. He plays the sarangi, a bowed instrument. He has a friend who is a musician from Virginia, and they have a collaborative effort called the Mountain Music Project. Now, though these musicians would seem so different, from such different cultures, languages, worlds, when they get together and play music, it all flows the same, and you realize that the energy of the music, while influenced by their own particular cultures, is so alike in its sound, even down to the melodies that are performed. They laugh together, and falling into this musical mountain language, you realize they exist among a place of connection that cannot be explained, it is felt. It is influenced by the earthly ground and water beneath, by the air and sights all around, by the sky and stars, moon, sun, and the heavens above. It is the energetic language of the mountains. So why did I feel so at home in these places? Why does my face exude such peaceful ease and calming heartfelt joy in photos from these places? Why is there such a theme of positive energy, unconditional love and welcoming, and beautiful and soulful art and music? Because as I mentioned before, getting into the wildness of nature, we reconnect with our truest selves, we find ultimate restoration and renewal. We can hear the free and open voice of our most authentic selves, our intuition, we reconnect with each other, with the planet, and we realize how deeply and truly interconnected we all are, and that we are not separate from nature, that we are part of nature. We find ourselves truly, and most welcomingly, back where we belong, back in tune, in our bodies. With spirit, mind, heart, body aligned, our feet planted firmly on the ground, our heads in the sky, we find ourselves at ease, we find ourselves home».