Enough Light for Reflection


We won’t move very far this morning–only down the steep bank from yesterday’s vantage point, down into the creek bed, stepping carefully from rock to rock in our street shoes.

If you look at yesterday’s image with the road as focus, today you see the same fallen trunk across the creek with the creek itself–a trickle though it is–reflecting the first yellow and gold.

And green. If there is, as I have written, a “neither-nor” season as spring comes so agonizingly slowly, there is the autumn equivalent, still green while leaves sound brittle and senescent even before they yellow and fall. And a slow departure makes the transition a bit easier to get our minds and hearts around.

Days shorten. Life centers within walls. The smell of woodsmoke and wool blankets. Bring it on.

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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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