The Writing Life: The Golden Years

Goose Creek Sunrise, a walk along the creek at first light, local style, two hours after our neighbors up top.

Blog posts anymore are tips of icebergs. I used to try to show it all, top to bottom. Now, the visible tip, if even that, finds its way above water. I miss the writing I used to do that was triggered by the slightest thread of curiosity or zeal.

But then, when I was doing that kind of regular daily writing twelve and thirteen years ago, I was home alone fifty or more hours a week.

I had no obligations in town back then, no press releases to edit, no agendas or minutes or committees to distract me.

It was a golden age, really, cloistered on my deserted island in time and space when writing in solitude, and archiving the moments as they came was the work I assigned to myself. The morning pages reflected hours of contemplation and research the day or days before, and sometimes the Good Elves cobbled a morning post while I slept–never later than 4:00 so as to get all the Fragments in place.

But the writer lives, as does his side-kick the photographer. And it just might be, over the next year, that the written word will take on a community reach. Some interesting things are happening that could make the language arts lift above the waters of Floyd County in a way the region has not really known before.

But more about that, perhaps, in another season.

As for autumn, we’re about done with it. I offer you some images from Goose Creek covered in fallen leaves after the Storm of 2015 re-arranged our bank, leaving leaf-filled pools reflecting a sun that is less and less warm.

Click the LINK for the full view, and there are a couple on either side of that in the SmugMug gallery.

Share this with your friends!

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. Wonderful photo, Fred, thanks. It has an old-world-could’ve-been-taken-in-Scotland-or-Ireland feel to it. Healthy and free flowing. Displaying Nature’s order at its best.

  2. I see lots of golden leaves in this photo, so your claim that fall is past is rushing things! In the West, we would say this is just past peak. Beautiful photo nonetheless.
    Boy, have you piqued my curiosity by this tease about future writing!! Don’t stay mum too long, please. It sounds very exciting!
    Oh, yes. The link only goes to the one photo. Please give a Smugmug link, too.

  3. Wow! What a stunning picture, Fred! It looks like Fall is in full bloom to me. How lucky you are to have chosen such a beautiful place in which to retire.