Church of the Good Shepherd, Galax, Virginia


One of the things Larry and I love to do together is go on roadtrips.

It’s a spirit game for us, to move our car and our bodies from one place to another, travelling through unfamiliar territory, seeing things we’ve never seen before. It widens our horizons and gives us more space.

I mentioned to a friend that we were going to drive for about 10 hours from our home in Florida to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, and he said, “Man, that’s a long trip. I would get bored,” But we love it! We get to spend time together without needed to do anything but make the next turn. We have plenty of time to talk, and we get to play this game of us together as a team navigating through the world, helping each other. We have some of our best realizations on the road, and I always bring numerous pads of paper because I get so many ideas.

It’s like having time outside of the normal flow of time in our daily lives. Our everyday lives stop and we are someplace else.

We had planned to leave the day after Christmas, but when we told our friends in the Blue Ridge Mountains where we were going they said, “Oh, that’s only three hours away from us! Come see us!” We had never been to their house before.

I thought they lived in the middle of nowhere in the mountains, but it turned out that the closest town is Galax, Virginia, which I had never heard of but is the “Old Time Mountain Music Capital of the World.” Mesic festivals are held there every year that celebrate the traditional music of the region.

Our friends have a beautiful house there, much of it handcrafted by the husband and local artisans. It’s all Arts & Crafts style, which I love. All natural materials. We drank their mountain spring water and ate their applesauce made from apples harvested from old heirloom apple trees. It was just lovely to spend some time with another couple whose relationship is also based in being spirits together.

As we were driving we saw the Church of the Good Shepherd, a stinking white building against the green hills. This church has a lot of land around it and our friends told us they are working on setting up a program where they will grow organic food on their land and give it away to their community. I love that.

Even though we spent our Christmas Day driving and our Christmas dinner was a bowl of chili and a salad at a roadside Waffle House, our bodies where in the same place on Christmas for the first time in four years, and that’s the important thing.