Creek Jots ~ 12-02-2009

The Flow of Things
The Flow of Things

☼ Witnessed Last night:  by far the largest ring around the moon I’ve ever seen, by my estimate, at least 40 moon-diameters wide. Only two of these amazing circles of pale light would fill the bowl of night sky open from our valley. It seemed an omen because yesterday, I sat through the disintegration of the world’s tectonic plates and …

☼ 2012. Used my last free theatre pass I’ve been carrying in my billfold for four years, a freebie proffered to placate employees when they were ill used, passed along by my work-abused wife. Yesterday I was in Christiansburg “finding something to do” because she needed some space, rarely home alone since I ceased being…

☼ A working man: The PT clinic is flush with new patients again and folks want a break for the upcoming holiday, so I might dip my toe back into those waters very part time, though I had considered–and may still follow through with–SS at age 62, the ripe old age coming up in April. Til then, I have projects: like…

☼ Calendars. If you requested one or more Floyd County and Blue Ridge calendars when I sent out the general announcement a few weeks back, you should have received an email this week pointing towards an order form (either pdf or in a second email because a few had probs with pdf, a jpg image) to print and send in soon. Didn’t get the email, give me a shout. Some 70 are spoken for, but only if you mail in the order form from the email! Calendars coming some time next week, though I’d really hoped they’d be here for the…

☼ Jacksonville Winterfest this Friday 5 to 8 and Saturday 10 to 5. I’ll have the LAST of the notecards there, btw, if any are interested. I won’t be keeping that stock going for now. Note also that Dickens of a Night is this Friday night in downtown Floyd. Read all about it. Should be great entertainment, far better than…

☼ Television / End of an era: We jettisoned our big fat (and might I add heavy) dust-catching television a few days ago and will live out our lives–the short end of the stick–without one, after living six decades as THE TV generation. Started for me with the futuristic-interactive Winky Dink (and his dog Woofer), the oh-so-mild Kookla, Fran and Ollie, and Howdy Doody (CowwaBunga!) What little we watch now, we’ll see on the computer monitor as we choose to pull. It was as much the relentless push of ads, being an unwilling object of mass marketing as the absence of content that made the thing gather the dust. Still, it was a powerful symbol in all our homes, even turned off 99.9% of the time for years.

☼ Nature Blog Network hat tip much appreciated, reminding me I once was by choice and by voice, a nature writer more than I was any other kind. There are almost 900 nature-blogs aggregated at this site now, making this a significant slice of blogger interest and focus. I swear I feel so distant lately from writing, from introspection and language, from the natural order of things by virtue of sheer needling self-inflicted busy-ness. I need to do more of those spontaneous forays like the one recently into the slippery gorge–but with better footing. And a notepad.

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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. Did you like 2012?

    The moon was almost obscured by that ring. I’ve seldom seen anything like that.

    How long has it been since you did PT?

  2. That photo and that huge rock were both beautiful to see. Is that an erratic? How did it goet there, in your scientist’s opinion?
    I got Soc. Sec. at age 62, so I recommend it. I believe if you go back to work and more money is added to your account, your monthly payments will be adjusted upward.
    I hope the busyness eases off soon so you can devote more time to being creative. You have put too much into your writing (and it has developed wonderfully) to allow it to languish now.

  3. That boulder was something else…silent testimony to the immense, inexorable forces of water, climate, and time.

    I recall many moons ago when, on a visit to Mt. Rainier base camp (10,000 feet), I stood out on the glacier and looked up the east face of the mountain as huge chunks of ice and rock came tumbling down from the immense heights and skittered down the vast ice field. They looked like pebbles from where I stood, but they could crush a whole line of unwary summit trekkers if you weren’t careful. It was mid-summer, and the mountain was alive…it gave off a constant din of cracks, groans, and deep rumblings as the never-ending cycle of freeze-thaw did its work.

    At the time, the Cascades seemed austere and immortal in their glory, but my perspective is different now. I know that one day they will have the worn and wizened look of our beloved Appalachians…less majestic, perhaps, but no less glorious for having weathered the ages, with a crown of trees where once there was only ice and snow.

    In a way, it’s a comforting thought. Time is the great equalizer, isn’t it?