Pilgrim at Nameless Creek

“Again and again as I read, I went back to my bookshelf to compare this work with that of Annie Dillard. Fred expresses a similar wisdom tinged with amazed gratitude at finding himself alone and content to record the measure of his days along the winding valleys and hilltops of the Blue Ridge in Floyd County, Virginia. My only worry is that others will attempt to literally follow him there with less awareness of the fragility of this remote ecosystem, and so I recommend reading the book and not necessarily visiting (!) in order to experience the beauty of that place, whose remoteness and inaccessibility is intrinsic to its survival.

Fred First takes us on a path of his own discovery that parallels the similar paths of others who have explored voluntary simplicity and introspection, leading us toward a closer connection with everyday experiences, finding the joy in shared experiences with a cherished companion, and the quiet peace that comes from solitude in natural surroundings. Through images and words Fred brings us with him, and we can truly partake of that same wonder, gratitude, and compassion, and recognize the value in simple reflection on nature’s bounty, which truly is all around us.

Thank you Fred, for sharing with us your heartfelt account of your personal geography. May you continue to bring us the same at Fragments from Floyd.” Amazon.com review of Slow Road Home

Thanks to reader and Fragments Friend Susannah for her kind words about Slow Road Home over at Amazon.com ~ ~ where you can now LOOK inside THE BOOK! Perhaps it was mere coincidence, but the same day I was delighted to find her addition to the reviews of the book, I also found someone (a bookstore chain perhaps?) had ordered 40 copies from Lighting Source where the book is now printed. Wonderful discoveries, both, and I hope that those 40 books are “seeds” that will find their way into parts of the country previously unreached by my little dog and pony show.

And if you feel inclined to add a review to Susannah’s, much appreciated. I think especially as more connectors (like the comparison to Annie Dillard and Tinker Creek)

PS: Susannah, please send your new email addy.

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. hey there —

    things like this make me just out-and-out blush like the deciduous magnolia outside my window. glad to give the praise you so richly deserve.

    sorry if you lost my email addy –but thought for some reason the amazon post would link back to the email. guess not!?!

    you can always contact me thru my own blog or at susannah@susannaheanes.com.

    take care,

  2. what a wonderfully written review- much deserved! a lot more eloquently put than mine.

    and great news about the 40 books….hopefully much more will follow…….