When was the last time you saw something that just made you think “How is something this beautiful on Earth even possible!?” For me, it was a recent visit to our beautiful Upper James watershed. We are so lucky to have such large protected areas of wilderness in our headwaters that support clean water and have areas to easily access. One of these places (and a personal favorite) is Goshen Pass in Rockbridge County, just outside of Lexington. On that beautiful October morning, before I headed out for some field work, I made sure that I carved out an hour to sit on the rocks along the Maury River to enjoy a cup of coffee with my journal, and simply enjoy this special place.

Embraced by the gentle mountains, the Maury River carves its way through the gorge, falling over smooth boulders, flowing towards the James River and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. The sky was bright blue, the air was cool, but the sun was warm. Young sycamore, alder, river birch, and black willow grow between the large rocks along the banks. All I could do was soak it in and enjoy this special place that inspires so many visitors to love the wild, our waters, and this beautiful land. Whether it’s the view of mountains or the curiosity found in the little critters under the water, or even in your garden in the backyard, awe can be found all around us. I’m just grateful for places like Goshen that make it a little bit easier to find!


Where can you create space for a little ‘wild’ in your life. Perhaps its a little patch in your yard that you let grow wild or a strip along the creek that you stop mowing. Or maybe its an area in your work or private life where you loosen your grip just a little instead of always feeling the need to control the outcome. Whatever it is, enjoy the surprises and moments of awe that the ‘wild’ brings!

A Moment of Awe, brought to you by Goshen Pass

All pics from Goshen Pass October 2021 by Amber Ellis

Interested in learning more about our streamside forests? Visit www.jamesriverbuffers.org