Let There Be Peace on Earth

A million points of light: Take Two

…and let it begin with us.

Even in the din of ignorance, short-sighted self-serving protectionism, and bigotry, I have hope in the wisdom and action-on-principle I see cropping up in so many places–small places, with small groups of visionary folks of all colors and callings. We have it in us to do the right thing together, even as we so very obviously have it in us to bring civilization and the planet to the brink of disaster.

So I’m trying to dwell on the good, the true, the noble, wise, hopeful and edifying this season where, every year, I wince, when I hear our little blue marble of a planet described as a place “where hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on Earth, good will toward men.”

The image here shows what I imagine to be the inspiration for the first colored twinkling Christmas tree lights–the natural rainbow of sparkling sunlight diffracted through hoarfrost on pasture margins plants like these beautyberry bushes along Goose Creek. Click for larger image.

And while you’re viewing the picture on Smugmug, you might glance through the not-so-many images I put there from 2011. Here’s the gallery link; click through image by image or select SLIDESHOW. Enjoy, and who knows what you’ll find there at the end of 2012. I’m hoping for some beauty, peace and harmony in digital format to share in the year to come.

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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 enjoyed your Smugmug gallery and tried to share it on my Facebook, but having never done it before, I failed to make it happen. Today’s photo shows an effect I have never seen in a photo before: the multicolored drops are real visible when I went to the enlargement. Amazing and lovely. I hope you will follow up on that plan to do more nature photography this year.

  2. “So I’m trying to dwell on the good, the true, the noble, wise, hopeful and edifying this season…”

    And there’s much of it to find, despite the naysayers. Beautiful words and gorgeous photo, Fred. I always enjoy your posts.

    Happy New Year. 🙂