A New Perspective

Landscapes from Floyd County, Southwest Virginia by Fred First
I don’t have many photos of this place where Goose Creek and Nameless Creek come together. And yet, this is one of my favorite places on our land, visually, even though it is very near the road. (You can just see the barn roof near the upper edge of the scene. I’m literally hanging from a tree trunk to get this picture from the top of a rock bluff. You see what risks I take for you, blog readers!)

But more than what meets the eye, the whole notion of convergence, of flowing together to make a larger stream–of water, of experience or of thought–is somehow central to this process of becoming and belonging.

Convergence, a coming together. The making of wholes from fragments. There is something in this.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. i LOVED seeing this photo….to finally get a glimpse of the infamous creeks you always talk about. which is which? how special are we, that you risked a tumble down the hill for us? 🙂 and yes, the making of wholes from fragments… something i’ve been “ruminating” about and reflecting on in my blog….the different experiences in my life that have gotten me to where i am and who i am.

  2. Fred, I’ve been reading about Nameless Creek and Goose Creek in “Slow Road Home”, so it is a treat to see this photo of them converging.

    Notions of convergence are much on my mind lately, rivers and creeks to be sure and quilts too – rambling memories and scraps of fabric coming together into something useful and aesthetically pleasing.

  3. Fred,
    The confluence of streams has a magical quality. There’s a place called Three Forks in Northeast Georgia at the origin of the West Fork of the Chattooga River where three streams converge, all with waterfalls just above the confluence. I spent the night there many years ago. It is a wonderful place.

    You are very fortunate to have such a special place on your land, near your home.