Let There Be Light

Tourism in Floyd County, Southwest Virginia, Blue Ridge Mountains
You can’t know (well, some of you certainly can) how good it was to get the power back Friday night.

Sitting down the next morning with a cup of hot coffee to the bright, responsive monitor, keyboard, desk lamp; the whirr of the computer, the tick of the wood stove. Ah, life was good.

And to sweeten the return to the normalcy we’ve grown so dependent on, on our Saturday morning of restored power, a fleeting pink-orange sunrise.

So even though it was 10 degrees and I was only in robe and slippers, I rushed out with the tripod, fumbled with frozen fingers to set the mirror-lockup, exposure and focus, and clicked a few reminders of the times.

There’s the stuff from the freezer in an ice chest on the back porch where it stayed frozen solid, no problems there. And the blue kerosene container. But the most meaningful feature of the photo to me is the tiny glow of the computer monitor you can see through the window.

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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. As I sit here looking out my window on the world this morning that same diffuse glow is coloring the tops of a few clouds to the west of me. Love the shot. The monitor in the window is just that bit of modernality that adds color to the farm house in the mountains…

  2. Sorry I have not commented in awhile….But I have kept up with your postings. We have had some wild weather here in St. Louis over the past 2 months………Altho I didn’t lose power during our storms, many areas did for several days. I guess one of the perks of being retired (since May) is I don’t have to go out in bad weather – can just hibernate!!!

  3. Hi Fred,

    What a beautiful photo. We were out of electricity from Tuesday through Friday. We just moved in our house this summer and don’t have a wood burning stove yet. I’ve never been so thrilled to get the electricity back!