Engagement, Opportunity, Community: Life is Full-ish

We awoke to the sound of a moderate rain, mercifully liquid and not frozen, on the metal roof, audibly amplified by added volume to our depleted creek. Water music! We are thankful for the rain, to be sure, as Floyd County water tables most certainly were on their way down. We’ve had a fair flow in the creeks all late summer and fall, thanks to last spring’s ample rainfall. But we can’t go much longer without replenishment. We’re a-gettin’ it as I sit here in the pre-dawn dark. 

And so I came to roost this morning to take my bearings of time terrain ahead, stove ticking, dog snoring, rain pouring. The calendar is uncommonly congested, and I am thankful–not for the busyness but for the things that have called me, the complementarity between my passions and talents and the opportunities to grow them for good. 

That these needs and skill sets  have found a fit in the this setting–a county so sparse and rural it has only one traffic light–is not something we imagined the first time we drove through the sleepy village of Floyd.

We anguished when we moved here in 1997 about the seeming likelihood that we would suffer from want of a peer group, of social connections and involvement and inclusion and opportunities to engage. Not. 

Monday, dinner with neighbors

Tuesday, Development Committee, SustainFloyd

Wednesday, Marketing Committee, Virginia’s Blue Ridge Music Festival

Thursday, Creation Care Meeting, Salem (Methodist)

Friday, Farm School Meeting/Floyd

Saturday, Farm School Intro Class, then SF sponsored Chili Supper and a Movie

Sunday, Dinner with new neighbors 

So far, it has not been a winter calendar like many in the past, nullified by appalling-impassable frozen roads. This busy week shows no threat of that.

The one after, well, we’ll take what we get, and especially if it puts water deep where we’ll want it come the next parched season ahead. And come, it quite probably will.

CAPTION: a companion to yesterday’s image, the dog noticed me noticing the ice-art where coralberries had become encased in crystal candles from creek-spray overnight. Yes, thank you, she’d be willing to take a bite of that particular composition before I could get my camera ready.  Not the first time, not the last.

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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. Wow! Your schedule looks crazy overcommitted to me, but what do I know! You sound very content with all the engagements. They do sound up your alley, for sure, and very satisfying indeed.
    I am puzzled by those ice candles. What causes them to form that way?? I’ve never seen anything like it.