Place Where You Live:

Shipman, Virginia

Shipman, VA

I live nestled between the last two ridge lines east of the Appalachian Mountains in Central Virginia. Naked Mountain, although what is naked about it I don’t know, to the west is about 1,500 ft high; Welsh Mountain to the east is much lower and after that the Pine Barrens. There are maybe a dozen homes in my neighborhood and probably a bit more cows than people. The farm has been owned by one family for many years. The sons work the farm and other jobs too. The patriarch lost a leg many years ago. You can see him working his garden standing with a metal crutch. The cows are there so they can keep the land and pay their taxes.

There are many sounds and sights were I live. In the spring peepers in the ponds and wild turkeys in the woods, in summer the sound of a nearby saw mill and sometimes the sound of a banjo playing and songs being sung.. And always the sound of dogs barking in the evening. Sometimes I want to shout very loudly “shut up”.

There is one sight that is somewhat unique to this place. Fog bows. A fog bow is a similar phenomenon to a rainbow but it appears in a bank of fog. Because the water droplets in fog are smaller than in rain the colors are very weak. They are sometimes called white rainbows and mariners call them sea dogs.

I was born in Cleveland and grew up outside of Chicago. I have lived in Boston, Manhattan, Dallas and Houston. There is no other place I would rather be than Shipman, VA. For emptying the mind and communing with creation there is no better place than my porch.