Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Is Not This The Land Of Beulah?

I am dwelling on the mountain Where the golden sunlight gleams O’er a land of wondrous beauty, Far exceeds my fondest dreams, Where the air is pure, ethereal, Laden with the breath of flowers; They are blooming by the fountain, Neath the amaranthine bowers. Is not this the land of Beulah, Blessed blessed land of light, Where the flowers bloom forever, And the sun is always bright?

The first verse of the traditional hymn Is Not This The Land Of Beulah? makes me think of the end of the ridge that runs behind my house. We didn’t sing the song much at church-I think the first time I really heard it was from The Isaccs. But that first verse makes me think of the feeling I get when the trail out the ridge descends and I can look out over the area in front of me. Even when I was a little girl-standing on that ridge made me feel like I was looking out at paradise.

Mostly-I feel like that about all of Appalachia-Is Not This The Land Of Beulah?


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.




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  • Reply
    Karen Larsen
    December 31, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    I don’t live where you do, but I give thanks every morning when I wander out to open up the hen house. The hens and I look at the sunrise and feel gratitude for another day on this land. The fog, the clouds, the sun, the snow, the win– whatever nature brings each day is enjoyed.

  • Reply
    B. ruth
    December 31, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Wonderful post…It is beautiful isn’t it…Wonderful song.
    Beaulah is a name familar with our family..
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    December 31, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    I’m just glad we have someone(you)
    to remind us of what we have. I
    live in the high mountains where
    the fog freezes on the trees, and
    the snows seem to wait for another. Although there are hard-
    ships, I wouldn’t trade life here
    for anything. Even in the summer
    time when it gets so hot, you can
    hover over a mountain stream and
    cool off, air conditioned by

  • Reply
    Glynda P. Chambers
    December 31, 2012 at 11:39 am

    You are absoutely right, Tipper, my family moved from Georgia to Sylva many years ago and he truly loved the mountains. When I was
    growing up I heard him say many, many times that this is God’s Country and he never wanted to leave, never wanted to live anywhere else.

  • Reply
    Sallie aka granny Covolo
    December 31, 2012 at 11:30 am

    I love this post ,Tipper. Through no fault of my own I had to leave our beautiful mountains when I was not quite sixteen for my Dad moved us away. I used to think that the Lord dwelled in the mountains and that we had moved away. I cried for the mountains.Truthfully, I still do!.At least I get to come back and visit now and then..Thank you for posting this.

  • Reply
    December 31, 2012 at 10:10 am

    The blind pig gang should do this song—it is one of my favorites and I’d love to hear your take on it..Hope you are enjoying this wonderful season of the year..

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    December 31, 2012 at 10:07 am

    I am with Ethelene. I left Appalachia in 1978, but 2013 is my year to return! I am very excited and looking forward to this new year.
    Happy New Year to the Blind Pig Gang and all you other Acorns out there!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2012 at 9:02 am

    I need to agree with you; such good thoughts for the last day of the year. May you have a happy and healthy new year. Please keep sending Appalachian information. I am learning and enjoying your site so much; it is the highlight of my day! Happy 2013!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Walking in the mountains is a spiritual experience. I have actually viewed such beautiful mountain views that it almost took my breath. One time on a mountaintop overlooking Waiteville WV the view was so breathtaking, I pulled over to call a friend and tell them It was like touching heaven. It is truly Beulah land! One day I’m sure it will be overun by condos with that view, but that day it was just me and the wildlife.

  • Reply
    December 31, 2012 at 8:37 am

    i found the Isaac singing this on Youtube and am listening to it while I type. i love the song… and your feelings echo the ones in my memory of KY

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    December 31, 2012 at 8:20 am

    That is also my anthem. I had never heard the song until The Isaacs sang it. I had to look up a few words to get the full meaning. It does indeed describe the feeling you get when you top a mountain and a vista explodes with nothing but the sights, sounds and smells of Gods whole creation.
    A mountain is a beautiful thing to behold. Most people only get to look up at it. A few make it to the top and look down. A tiny fraction can stand on top and say “This is my home!” I had all that but the illusion of greener pastures lured me away. Now I am one of the many looking up.
    Yours is indeed the Land of Beulah!

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    December 31, 2012 at 8:01 am

    Due to circumstances, I had to move away from Appalachia in early 2003. People asked, “You lived in the mountains and you moved away?” They might as well have said, “Why did you move from the land of Beulah?” There’s such a thing as having to do what is needful at the time; and sometimes it’s harder to “go back home” than it is to “move away.” But in my heart “my mountains” will always be preeminent, beloved, and a place I will always want to return to if I can. I can just see your trail across the ridge, Tipper, and the vista that opens to you as the trail opens up. How many times have I been in places similar to that, and exalted in the beauty that lay as a mighty natural canvas about me! “Beulah Land” speaks of Heaven; and in many ways our Appalachian landscape and its dear people give us a taste of heaven! May 2013 open up new vistas for all of us!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    December 31, 2012 at 7:52 am

    Yes, it is Tipper, and we are blessed beyond all understanding to be a child of these mountains.
    Like you I have mountains in front of me and mountains behind me. I am cradled here and love it.
    I have known folks who moved to the mountains because they thought them pretty but left because they began to feel closed in by the very mountains they came for.
    I find the mountains are the most beautiful in the winter when all the leaves are gone and you can see their every contour.
    Blessed, indeed we are!

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    December 31, 2012 at 7:35 am

    Tis surely at least a glimpse of Beulah. Though my family’s roots are from both Western North Carolina and NE Georgia, I did not have the pleasure of growing up here. However in the late 1970’s my wife and son and I made our first visit to this land. It is safe to say that something stirred deep within my soul and there was an immediate connection. For many years afterwards we visited, camped and just simply enjoyed this wonderful place. I knew someday I would return to the land of my families and set my on roots. There is a song “Don’t Let Smoky Mountain Smoke Get In Your Eyes” that helps describe what occurred in those early years. Tipper, thanks for reminding me, and I’m sure many others who read your blog, of just how close to Beulah Land this wonderful place in the Appalachia comes to us.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    December 31, 2012 at 7:35 am


  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    December 31, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Blessed you are to be living in the Land of Beaulah and blessed are we to have you share it with us.

  • Reply
    December 31, 2012 at 5:51 am

    Yes, you are right; I also feel that way! I have made comment after comment for sometime now trying to relate my feelings of the mountains. I had hoped that someday I could live in the high country but now I don’t know. Still, who knows, I just might make it. I have had these feelings since boyhood. Today if I lived in the mountains, I would go before daylight so that I could see the sunrise and drink all that in. Thanks for giving me food for thought this morning Tipper.

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