Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. Psalm 96:11-12
She’s proud. Arrogant. Beautiful.
My heart hurts today. I am saying farewell to the most beautiful lady I know. She taught me so much.
Like… to Appreciate your place. Your history. Your people. Your upbringing. Virginia is arguably the most beautiful and diverse environment in the nation. Her Shenandoah Mountains. Her swift rivers. Her hidden streams. Her Great Falls. Her salty bays, her blue green Oceans. Her Piedmont Farmland, her historic cities. Quiet spaces. Vineyards. Long rolling hills. Oh. Her very proud upstart history. She grew up so sassy. So strong. And so willing to sacrifice. All. For this Nation.
This is my Virginia.
I received an amazing education with her and about her. I grew up in the shadow of the Nation’s Capital with an intimate knowledge of the comings and goings of the center of the world. And yet I was a wandering child exploring her woods, her wild spaces and the best of what she offered. I formed lifelong friendships – married one of her sons, raised family in her and benefited from all that she had to offer. So fortunate was I. I am deeply humbled to call her my cradle and my heart home.
And my blessed Virginia. Surely God’s finger drew her. She is just too naturally beautiful for it not to be.
Her history is magnificent. She has stood up for 200 plus years and shook her fist at the naysayers. The interlopers. She has produced many Presidents. Indeed. Our very first. Mr. Washington. She was the cradle of democracy. Not New England. But my beloved Old Dominion.
There have been many changes of late. Virginia was a place of manners. Civility. And where the discourse of difference of an opinion was respectful art. Now changes are insidiously seeping in – And not for the betterment of her precious well being and heart.
My Virginia. My soul will always be part of her. But I am not leaving her. She has left me. Her strength. Her peculiar determination. Her “don’t tread on me attitude.” She has been usurped. It breaks me.
And so I let her go and thank her for the time we had together. How she formed me. Taught me. And held me accountable. She raised me to be proud of her. Her history. Her states rights. Her unflappable spirit.
To be a Virginian. It is the proudest title I know.
I am blessed to be her child. Even if I need to leave her. I am trusting God to lead the next chapter of my life. But Virginia…She will always remain in my heart and I will love her purple hills, her colored oaks and her whispering meadows until my end of days.