Painted on the Sky

Came into Rainelle from Beckley about noon and have settled into a pretty b&b. We went into Lewisburg with our hosts and had a good lunch and a walk around town. We settled in for the evening with a livingroomful of people, with a good pie and tales.

If you are ever so lucky as to sit in a comfortable room surrounded by good West Virginia storytellers, you will be lucky indeed. I did my best to keep my ears open wide and my mouth shut–but I did turn on the little digital recorder. Tales of haints and healings, of relatives who still visit though they have passed on. There was laughter and tears and nods of agreement and encouragement as people told their own histories.

There is snow here now, covering the walk, beautifying the world.

What can we do, as people with gifts that should be polished and used, when the culture tells us what we do is “dark” and wrong, and evil? We can ponder our gifts in secret. We can talk amongst the few who share the gifts and understand. We can read books and dream a different life.

Or we can hunker down, dig deeply into the bones of our Ancestors–that are also our own bones. We can touch the heart of the mountains and give them our own hearts.  We can rise up in the face of danger and disbelief.

We can prevail. We who are strong and free, we who are tired and worn. We can bring our love to the places most forsaken.

Let Appalachia rise.


(with thanks to Trish Ciaffone)


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