Sunday, February 27, 2011

West Virginia

I had the opportunity to spend the night in Charleston, WV this last Friday. I was signing copies of my book at Taylor Books - a really wonderful shop. Anyhow, I was really struck by this capital city that is fighting to reinvent itself, since coal is not what it once was. I am familiar with this kind of work being that my hometown is doing the same; it was built on tobacco (RJR), Banking (Wachovia) and textiles (Hanes). Anyway, I took time on Saturday morning to drive highway 60 out of town to Fayetteville, WV to the New River Gorge. What an amazingly beautiful drive, although depressing at points seeing what has become of the small towns along the river. I did not photograph the rows of trailer homes or closed businesses - it didn't feel right. What has happened there and what has happened here are yet more reminders that nothing is forever. To quote Amos Lee "Time, it swallows everything, from the mighty to the meager things..."

Where the mountain river flows
And the rhododendron grows
Is the land of all the lands
That I touch with tender hands;

Loved and treasured, earth and star,
By my father's father far--
Deep-earth, black-earth, of-the-lime
From the ancient oceans' time.

Plow-land, fern-land, woodland shade,
Grave-land where my kin are laid,
West Virginia's hills to bless--
Leafy songs of wilderness;

Dear land, near land, here at home--
Where the rocks are honeycomb,
And the rhododendrons . . .
Where the mountain river runs.

Louise McNeill

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Diving with Whale Sharks

I wish I could post the video. It was an amazing experience and very well worth the trip to Atlanta. The Georgia Aquarium is not only beautiful and certainly entertaining, but one of the best educational resources we have in this country to talk about ocean health and how it impacts all of us. Call, order tickets and go. If you are a certified diver, get in the water with the whale sharks - you will be amazed. 

Link to the Georgia Aquarium.