I grew up in a small town in eastern North Carolina with all the pluses and minuses that carries. As I grew into my teens, I was desperate to leave the small town life and embrace big city living. But New York was too scary, Chicago too far away and San Francisco may as well have been on another planet.
Richmond, however, was somewhat familiar as I had visited a few times before and, even then, had a bustle that small town life lacked. It also had the myriad points of view and ideas that came with attending art school at VCU. And I still love Richmond. However –
I still enjoy going back to eastern North Carolina, where the wide, open sky is where the action is, marveling at the very flat land and noting the changes in seasons. The creeks, rivers and sounds – and, of course, the ocean – always make me reach for my camera and sketchbook.
The mountains also call. The rolling hills and the blue mountains just feel like home. As I’m heading west, I’m always watching for that first glimpse of mountains and it’s a feeling of, “There you are!”
Sometimes life in even this mid-size city jangles my nerves and keeping up with the news makes it even worse. So, I escape. I leave town for a few hours or days to soak up the peacefulness, then return to share our beautiful part of the world. I’m aiming for a meditative quality that I hope helps you take a deep breath, too.
Next time… What About the Flowers?