Spring Cleaning


I am the only one who sensed it at this particular time and place, but there has just been a distinctive modulation in the gear ratio of life, and change is afoot–nothing big, mind you. With several life-dominating tasks behind me, and the final one almost so, I feel like I’m rediscovering ME again.

And it’s not a particularly orderly view, now that I look around my world at my unsorted socks, dog-eared books, emails-in-draft and growing “some day” to-dos that are, by now, gathering cob webs. Some, I can’t even remember what I was thinking months ago when I wrote them down in prominent places and labeled them as “priority 1.”

And so I’m clucking around like an old hen, clearing my email inbox, deleting old files from Finder, and reorganizing Evernote to cubbyhole the flotsam and make it all appear to be under control.

This impulse to Order, too, is a matter of timing: with the soaking rain today (and probably tomorrow) I’m free from the burden of gardening, grass mowing and of looking for more dry deadfall to cut up to see us through this never-ending heating season. Today is an under-roof sort of day, save for a foray to see if the morels are big enough yet to pick.

It’s a good day to finish those last three hours of copyediting I signed on for some 80 work-hours ago, then rejoin myself where I left off several months back.

I have several projects that, in theory, could be reshaped for different audiences.

In practice, OTOH, the audiences are off face booking and otherwise not ending up where I’m stump-speeching anymore, so I’m trying to rethink the blog and the third book and the speaking and the hours of non-profit and other volunteer activity. How best to spend my time, going forward?

CAPTION: Jack is in his pulpit and all is well with the world.

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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. Fabulous photo of Jack!! And best wishes on ordering your priorities now that you have a chance to hit the reset button on your life. With the busy season ahead of you, I doubt that your new to do list sees much action, but it will be waiting for you in a few months when fall arrives again.