My hometown of Richlands, Virginia is just a speck of rural geography on a map. It’s a rather secluded little place. It’s an hour’s drive to an interstate highway, and even further to an airport. There are people there that I know personally who have never seen an ocean, met a black person, or explored any part of the country (much less the world) beyond rural Appalachia. As a teenager, I could hardly wait to leave Richlands in the dust to find bigger and better places.
I left my hometown before I was 19 years old. I’ve explored a bit of the world thus far, just as I’d hoped to. I’ve flown over oceans and met people from all over the world. Although there are certainly places bigger than Richlands, I’ve come to understand that better is a thoroughly personal opinion. I now actually miss being surrounded by seemingly endless mountains. I miss hearing the southern-spoken English from the mouths of my fellow "folk." Although I left that speck of rural geography over 15 years ago, I still consider it home.
Many talented and mysterious people hail from rural Appalachia. The folklore is quite amazing, as well. The tales from the mountains are some of the best storytelling fodder I’ve ever heard. Simple, yet captivating.
Someone sent me a link to the following video. I recognize every landscape and building in it. No surprise, really…