This magical log home is the house my parents owned when I was born. It is to this place they brought me, after my mother and I were discharged from the hospital.
My parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles built this house with their own hands.
The house is on a small mountain that boasts incredible views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, especially in the wintertime. My cousins lived next door and we played together every day, along with the other neighborhood kids. I lived here from the time I was born until I was nine, when my father sold the house. He had decided that we had outgrown it and we needed to move on.
The loss of this house is just as tangible to me now at 30 as it was at nine. No place is perfect, but for those nine years of my childhood, no one could have told me different. Maybe it was the magic of youth that made this mountain perfect, but I happen to believe it goes deeper than that.
My ancestors settled near Clinch Mountain, part of the Appalachian mountain range, in what is now Scott County, VA. The Carter Family told about this mountain range in their song, “My Clinch Mountain Home.” They also sang of “My Home Among the Hills” and the intense longing that existed to go back after an absence.
|Clinch Mountain Range|
My Southwest Virginia family loved the mountains and even when they journeyed away from them, it did not take long for them to go back. My great-grandfather moved his young family to Central Virginia in the late 1920’s. My older cousins have said that my great-grandmother always pined to return to her mountains and family in Scott County. Though life was hard, comfort lived in the valleys of those mountains, comfort that was not easy to come by in the flat, scrub pine of Fluvanna County, VA.
For me also, there is security in living near mountains. Tornadoes are rare, there is ample defense from tidal waves and I find the hills' constant reach for the sky inspiring. I revel in the views that exist from mountains. For brief moments, I am larger than life itself, whereas in the valleys, I am just an ant. As long as mountains are in my sight, I am content.
Learning about my ancestors affection for their mountain home has made me wonder if the feeling is genetic in some way. My pining for my childhood log home, high on a mountain, does not ebb as I get older. In fact, as time passes, the yearning gets worse. Could my family's thoughts, respect and love for the highlands of Southwest Virginia somehow have been passed down through the family DNA? Or, is it just the need to escape adulthood and retreat back to a simpler time? Maybe it is a bit of both.
©copyright, Piper Oneto