The Nature Of Things
Time to share some of my favorite things about living where I do and explaining the peace I find. For your weekly PCT's- Positive CJ Thoughts, I give you, the nature of things. Most of my life, I've lived in a place where I could see and hear nature. Some of my favorite sounds on earth involve water running over rocks in a bubbling brook,
or the call of a whippoorwill, and my all time favorite, peepers. I love to sit on the porch and watch the deer amble around my yard grazing on the lawn.
Tiny fawns hide in the tall grass with momma snorting away any interlopers, like my cats. On my trek out my driveway, a hawk frequently swoops in front of me into a tree on the other side of the twin dirt tracks that lead to home.
I'm beyond blessed to live in a place abundant in green vegetation, rivers and streams, and blue skies with fluffy white clouds.
Yes, I am blessed to live in an idyllic setting. In my mountain home, I am able to watch each season as it ushers in. We are technically still in spring, but summer is hot on it's heals. A few more weeks and the strawberries will be ripe and ready for those who will trek to our farm to pick their own- right off the plant.
The farm will be in full swing with young plants soaking up the sunlight. The grass is a lush green and the soil warming up.
We sleep with the windows and doors open most nights to let the cool evening breeze flow in. Our house doesn't have an air conditioner because most times, the house is cool enough with just the fans….unless I'm having a hot flash. When that happens, I am almost sure I raise the temperature inside at least ten degrees.
When you step out on to my porch, I have a fantastic view of the mountains around me and not another house for miles.
I am so blessed and take none of it for granted. When we decided to build our dream home, I only had a few real requests and I got most of them. My biggie, was a ten foot deep, wrap around covered porch. Wide enough our niece and nephews can use it as a Big Wheel track and not run over our feet. I can tell you, it was worth every penny.
The other night, my wife and I sat and watched a storm roll in across the mountains with a dazzling display of lightening. (No I am not that good of a photographer, I took screen shots of the video.)
Most mornings when we wake up…wait, let me clarify that, most weekENDS when we wake, a foggy mist rolls in across the expanse leaving everything with a light dew.
I say weekends, because Monday through Friday, I am up at 4am to go to work…and it's dark. I drive fifty miles to work. When it's foggy, it sets my teeth on edge trying to navigate the one hundred and sixty plus curves I have to negotiate on my way there.
Here are just a few videos of my travel route. One is basically the mountain we live on and the other starts at Cool Springs Park, (part of the setting in my debut novel 'frame by frame') to Grafton. After Grafton I head to Clarksburg, but I don't have video of that section.
This video goes right past our produce farm all the way over into Maryland at about 5:06 the video passes right by our farm.
This one is from Grafton, WV to Cool Springs.
It's honestly a pretty drive especially in the fall and gives me a lot of time to unwind on the way home.
I've avoided some close calls with large four legged friends who don't always look both ways when they cross, which is why I have a very large brush guard on the front of my truck.
In spring, everything starts to come alive with vibrant shades of color in the many wildflowers that grow and the trees start to bud.
In summer, I can find cool shade under the broad canopy of the oaks, maples and poplar trees.
Fall? Well, that is my favorite time of year. The mountains come alive with autumnal colors and everything smells like damp earth.
Then comes the season of renewal. Winter comes along and turns everything white and icy.
I love the smells of all the season too. On my way to work, honeysuckle and laurel floated in my windows. The pavement smells of recent rains that dry with the rising of the sun. Leaves hold tiny droplets of rain that lay along the veins. Summer will bring hay season, and the smell of freshly mown and drying in the fields, will fill the air. In the fall, the leaves will eventually come down and mix with the rain to give everything that deep woodsy smell.
Winter means a fire in the fireplace with the smell of wood smoke and stepping outside, the air is so crisp it hurts your lungs to take it in.
West Virginia is frequently the butt of jokes when people ask if we wear shoes, how many teeth do we have and can we read. These things are hurtful as my home state is beautiful and so are it's people. Now, am I going to say there aren't bad pennies in the bunch-NO. In my line of work I've seen so many horrible things, things I will never be able to forget. What I'm trying to say is that West Virginia isn't special in that category of negative things. I can go to just about any state and find it.
West Virginia is my home and I'm proud of it.
A walk through my two hundred and twenty one acres will show off the beauty of just a small piece of what I am in awe of.
Today, I wanted to take the time to tell everyone to find the beauty around you. The simple joy of listening to birdsong, the feel of grass on bare feet, and the relief of cool water from a mountain stream. Without a word spoken, the world around us tells us so much if we are only willing to stop and listen to take stock of all it has to offer. As your busy day winds to a close this evening, smile as you raise your face to the sun. It's a very good day and I for one, am glad to be among the living to enjoy it.
My newest novel is still in the editing phase but until then, thank you for following this blog. My debut novel 'frame by frame' is still available at your favorite retail outlet.