Dawning: What Lies Ahead

Only that day dawns to which we are awake. ~ HD Thoreau
Only that day dawns to which we are awake. ~ HD Thoreau

Someone said that TIME was what God made so everything didn’t happen all at once. That being the case, I wish that for the next couple of weeks, he’d insert a bit more of it.

Things are piled on top of things, visitors with us in two waves, several events will require some significant degree of focus and energy, the regular home and garden maintenance details will need attending plus all the fun serendipitous things that happen to spice up one’s life.

Speaking of which, did I mention that last week’s spice came when the PAM exploded in the spice rack of the pantry cabinet? We still smell like buttered popcorn and you can fry an egg on any surface in the house and it won’t stick.

And regarding focus: The first real speaking opportunity comes up this weekend at the Floyd Library–maybe the hardest venue, since here I’m “just that guy that has the blog” and shops at Slaughters Foods and slogs coffee at Café del Sol. A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, etc etc.

But then, maybe it will be my most gratifying group of listeners. Many will have been along since I was first wondering what to do with words and pictures to know and to be known, to participate and contribute somehow in a community with which I was in 2002 so loosely connected. And now, there they will sit before me, friends and neighbors, fellow readers, Floyd Press readers, Slow Road Home readers, strangers I will meet and know for the rest of my life here.

I’m eager to get to know what this book is about through the eyes of those who don’t stand so close to it as I have for so long. I found with the first book that I came to understand what and why I had written when readers helped me see what they saw in the book.

And Bill McKibben’s visit and talk last week crystalized the WHY of this book: our future focus on “standard of living” must be on the social capital, gift of good land, and the skills and caring of and care for our neighbors. And that for me is the message of this book, about which one reader-friend stated that “the whole is more than the some of its parts.”

I will hope in my talks that in reading a small sampling of parts that the holistic sense of the book comes through.

Share this with your friends!

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. watched you on the news last week and found it most interesting. So much beauty in Floyd county. I live in Carroll so I hope to get to come to Floyd soon and see some of these places. Oh and I have been to Slaughters to shop before. Keep up the good work and I’ll keep reading.