Friday, August 24, 2007


Sophie fell asleep upside down in the chair after reading this afternoon. It was like relay napping - first me, then her. It is so fucking hot here that there is nothing else to do but lay around under the fan and nap and read. The humidity has made her hair very curly, which she hates, but I (secretly) love.

This morning was The Morning Of The Home Visit Marathon - 5 visits in 3 and 1/2 hours. Greenbriar to Belmont to Ivy to Ruckersville to Barboursville. And then back to Starr Hill in time for lunch with Jen at the Diner before picking Sophie up. Whew. It was like a whirlwind tour of the county. It's pretty here - it really, really is. The sun came out after a week of hiding and so it was suddenly again true Virginia in August - hot like you don't want to move and so hazy and humid you can hardly see the sky, let alone the mountains. But, lord, it is pretty.

Last night, in the midst of the sangria (oh god, so good...), I was talking with the girl I had dinner with about the land here. See, she just moved back to Virginia and she said something about wanting to write more and thinking that would be easier, somehow, at home. Even the sky looks different here, she said. (She was far more eloquent in the way she put it, but I was not taking notes - sadly.) I started running on about something I'd read in one of Montessori's books about how physicians in her day - say, 100 years ago - would send really sick folks back to the land where they were born. It was supposed to be healing, or something, because a person would have a connection with that land, having been exposed to it in infancy. Now, old Maria used this to help justify her ideas about oh-so-carefully constructing an infant's environment, because that's one of the first and best tools that babies use to create themselves, but it hit me like a ton of bricks that summer I was doing my Montessori training. I was away from home, from my bed and my house and my world, for the longest I'd ever been and I realized, I missed the land - flat out missed it. I do appreciate how pretty or breathtaking it might be somewhere else, but there is something else entirely about how it looks here, where I'm from (although, I wasn't born here, just raised here). There's a palpable sense of relief for me, flying home from somewhere, when I see that first bit of the mountains out by the airport, an almost painful feeling like falling in love when I cross the Blue Ridge at Afton and see the valley spread out, looking like it will never end, like it goes on and on until it gets to the Pacific a whole continent away.

So, even though I drove to hell and back, even though it was hot and humid in the car like a motherfucking sponge, it sure was pretty. Pretty like the end of summer, which it is, and stuck in my mind, helping me to create myself, still, like Maria said.


Hard Girl said...

When I first left Virginia, I had that year in Texas, and then moved to Seattle, and didn't have the money to visit home for 2 years and a bit. So when I finally got on a plane (for the first time in my life, at age 25), and flew in over the Appalachian mountains, I broke into tears, it was so beautiful and so essentially my home.

starrhillgirl said...

Hmmmm.... maybe you should move back....