A different country

We crossed the mountain yesterday to my family’s cabin in Syria, VA. We brought our disinfectant wipes, our masks, and as much food as possible to avoid trips to the store. Madison county has had very few cases, so generally it seems safer here than in Harrisonburg.

The place was littered with dead lady bugs and stink bugs, but after we got it cleaned up, it was the same place we’ve been coming to for over 40 years. Just that fact provided a lot of comfort in these troubled and volatile times. I didn’t realize how much the chaos in the world was weighing on me until I got down here. It is as if we have crossed into a different country. Nature is so healing, and that is all there is here.

I remember first coming here as a teenager. I had never experienced the power of nature like it is here. It is lush and green, with birdsong everywhere. Humans have to fight to keep the vegetation from taking over. So far we’ve seen rabbits and deer, and last night we have to remove a 6 ft long blacksnake from the wall of the living room. Our neighbor across the street says there is a 400 pd black bear that we will probably see around. Monarch and swallowtail butterflies are everywhere.

Even out here the small general store has installed a plastic screen between customers and the cashier. They actually had paper towels and soap. Amazing.

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