A Drive in the Country, And Taking Time to Make Time in Your Life

On the backroads of West Virginia. Photos by John Clise

By John Clise

Sometimes life gets to be like a traffic jam. Rushing as quickly as possible to get somewhere that we just won’t get there on time no matter what. We can see the destination, but the road in front of us is clogged with other people’s wants, work obligations, strangers just blocking the road, and so on and such. And sometimes there’s just one jerk who loves to impede the roadway for no reason. And sometimes you get a break from a friend who helps keep you on track with kind words about you or your work or your talents.
  Those are the blessings I really count. They seem to come in the nick of time or at just the right time to clear the head and wipe off the dry erase board so things can start over with more clarity and less stress.
  Sometimes we get to a place and we have no idea how we got there and we get back the same way. We just get there and back somehow. Maybe it’s more the ride and what we learn in that trip than how we got there or how we got back.
  I took a long drive in the country today and had to drive through four creeks without bridges before I got to a deep blue river so deep and so wide I couldn’t get across. You see, it also had no bridge, but there was a beautiful Civil War era home sitting near the water’s edge .
  I would have thought I was back in time but there was a 1930s era metal walking bridge there to walk across the river.
  I just sat there for a while and watched the water contemplating the beauty in front of me. 
 On the drive I saw turkeys, deer, cows of all sorts, horses, lambs, hawks, flowers from houses long gone, heard frogs, saw a murder of crows, a squirrel, the most beautiful pine trees, two very large sheep dogs tending to their sheep in a field, a much older lady putting laundry on a clothes line, an old barn that had fallen over, many old barns, two old churches, an old church/school building from before the turn of the 20th century that was either falling down or being renovated slowly, and a great peace in my soul.

 Sometimes the best trips happen when you take time to take time in life. 
   Lately, we have been taking time to travel around West Virginia. True, West Virginia is our current home state, but we haven’t much taken the time to just enjoy what’s here without a plan or a schedule.
    We’ve been getting more into that state of mind, and it seems to be paying off with lots of relaxation and enjoyment.
   We recently drove down to Charleston to the State Capitol.
    Strolling around the Capitol grounds we saw a squirrel, many squirrels, but this particular one, was taking it easy in a tree. He seemed like he’d been having a pretty rough day and needed to rest.
    The grounds are quite beautiful to see. Lots of trees, flowers and many monuments to our military, law enforcement, coal miners, and firefighters among others.

New River Gorge earlier this year.

Earlier this year we went to the Three Rivers Avian Center in Fayette County to check out the birds. ( We recently saw them at Holly River State Park. Story coming soon.) While we were there, it was suggested that we stop and check out the  Brooks  Overlook because eagles had been sighted nesting there.
   We pull off and the first thing we saw was a lizard and a bunch of grasshoppers. Once we got passed that excitement, we looked across the New River Gorge National River to see a large nest, but no eagles. Rebecca, if you’ll forgive the pun, has eyes like an eagle. She spotted a pair of eagles just off the nest sitting side by side.
   It was a pretty fun time. We watched them for quite a while. Several other people came along also looking for eagles and we were able to point the birds out to them.
   So my suggestion is to take time to make time and enjoy every minute you get.


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