Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Within an area that ranges from the rocky rolling ridges of MD and southern PA, to the steep highlands and river valleys of West Virginia's Potomac Highlands to the soaring peaks of the VA Blue Ridge and Alleghenies.. is our homeground. We know these mountains like we know ourselves.
While traveling the other day, I was struck not just by the breathtaking beauty of the day but also by this amazing powerful feeling of HOME .. deep home..
The defining emotion or the power of the experience was not just the scenery however.. it was rather the time-bending realization that the same views of mountains and valleys in which I make my living today.. are the same views of mountains that my father enjoyed and lured him and my mother to the small town in which I grew up..
They are the same views that my grandfather enjoyed... and his father before him (the ones that called him to leave his Army duty for crop planting during the Civil War), and his father... and finally his father, and grandfather, before him after coming to this country in the mid 1700s from Germany (as some of the first settlers in an area of the Shenandoah Valley known as Fort Valley, VA...)
The realization that the mountain passes, river crossings and many of the roads are the same as they were 250 years ago, is one of virtual time travel... and leaves my stomach feeling as though I've just driven over a quick hump in the road.. kind of weightless.
To work here, sharing these ageless hills and mountains, rocks and rivers with others, and to know them so intimately, their secret places, their histories... far beyond what is written..( those family stories passed down from generation to generation) .. the things that make them so much more than special... is not only a gift and a blessing, but it is an incredible privilege.
To drink from the same spring that my great grandfather once drank from (in the 1800s), and to recognize the timelessness of that refreshment is to (almost) touch on the concept of eternity.