To Everything There is a Season

Leafery Black and White

I’m exploring the vast number of custom settings on the new camera that came yesterday, but will have to leave that soon to get my head set for Warm Hearth today at 1:30.

The best thing towards that goal this morning was sitting on the front porch at 5 am, just listening: trying to extract layer upon layer of sound–wet-white noise in the blue-black darkness. Rush of tumbling creek, the slight sizzle of a predawn storm, lightning barely visible far away; fat drops falling leaf above to leaf below, cascading finally in a multitude of soft splats to web ground. After a while, I could distinguish the voice of drops coming from one particular tree across the creek–a large tall tough-leaved thing, a big oak perhaps, whose percussion was distinctive enough to know it from its voice in the rain.

The porch in the dark was an attempt to escape the anxiety of a workday for her. On a morning before one of my occasional small presentations, I need to get in touch with my voice–to know what I think by seeing what it is that I say to myself, in particular with regard to what it is that I want to share with the unique gathering, in this case, of retired folks.

It’s funny how, living with this much solitude, I am surprised in quiet moments like this one, to become reacquainted with my deeper conversations. Most of the time operating in base-brain, I suppose, my thought bubbles are small and contain small uninteresting kibble.

It takes the occasional urgency of an audience with an audience to fill those bubbles and to have them stay up on the surface of intentional consciousness. I rather enjoy it while it lasts–enough so that I seem to take these things on every few months or so, just to help me remember who I am when it’s dark on the front porch, in the rain.

There is a place for both of these ways of being. To everything there is a season.

CAPTION: Cabbages growing at SustainFloyd’s demonstration farm whose produce is available at the Floyd Community Market under the label Blue Valley Farm. Read more about the “Pocket Farm” classes,  for which Blue Valley serves as a working model.

 

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fred

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.

3 thoughts on “To Everything There is a Season”

  1. “My thought bubbles are small and contain small uninteresting kibble.” I love this description. It exactly describes my everyday mind. I guess I should find something to prompt me to think more deeply sometimes, too.

  2. Wish I could have heard you “talk” today. Being late deafened, (loosing my hearing totally at 39) always gives me lots of solitude whenever I turn off my cochlear implant. Yet, somewhat like you, the mornings I am up before dawn, sitting on the side porch, with the CI turned on so I hear the morning beginning, I always feel my thoughts are profound and so much so I have to write them down in a steno notebook. Notebooks are my constant companion, perhaps my “audience” to express what very well could be “bubbles of uninteresting kibble” too. Smiled reading this post!

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