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Answering the Call to the Green Hills of Home

As I rolled into James River State Park with my windows down my senses were heightened by the sight, sound and smell of the Blue Ridge Foothills of Virginia after a summer rain, and I instantly knew I was home.

Where the James River intersects the Tye River at James River State Park - Tye River Overlook

This is where the James River intersects the Tye River at James River State Park

You are assaulted by the striking view the moment you enter the park at James River State Park

I was hit by the striking view the moment I entered the park

There is something about the natural backdrop of the vibrant green hills that surround James River State Park that are difficult to resist. As the mighty James River stretches toward the sea, so my instincts draw me back to these venerable and ancient Blue Ridge Mountains. I am not alone, these are the same mountains where generations of Virginians have eked out a rugged hardscrabble existence, not always fully cognizant of, or planning for the future, but taking and using what they deemed necessary to survive. 

I realize this park was developed for our recreational enjoyment, but the park itself is more than a place to have fun, it is a place to refresh and renew.

Inviting lush picnic area at James River State Park down near the water's edge

Invitingly lush picnic area near the canoe landing and livery area

The perfect spot for a picnic along the river at James River State Park

I think I found the perfect bailiwick for a picnic along the river

Folks out enjoying a paddle on the river at James River State Park

I spied plenty of folks out enjoying a scenic paddle on the river at James River State Park

A gentle day at the lovely James River State Park

Rain water gently passing me by as I stand at the river's edge

I leisurely sat down at the picnic area along the river's edge, canopied by expansive leafy trees and frequented by birds, squirrels, bear, and at times overrun by deer. I gazed out upon the river as it casually and deliberately passed me by drawn to the coastal waters of the Atlantic. I contemplated how peaceful it is to sit along the river; away from the innate surroundings of progress, where moving forward seems to be one step backwards in vitality. To remove the green things growing, destruction of the wilderness for construction of bricks and mortar seems impulsive to me. Meeting our needs here and now and not thinking forward and evaluating the future is to dreadfully fail.

We can only preserve and keep spaces like this for future generations if we are doggedly determined to do so. This is why I support Virginia State Parks, why I frequent them at every opportunity and why I feel at ease here, in these green hills of home.

To visit James River State Park in central Virginia, follow the map with directions below:

I hope you too can find a tranquil hamlet along this exquisite river to savor a picnic in fine company, or to sit and ponder the good green earth of Virginia.

Published: 08/03/2014

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