Good Friday Morning!
One of the things that I find most interesting - and also most tricky - about doing some of my work in this state is that its people do not often allow for easy characterization or "political position" pigeonholing relative to the rest of the world. I have spent a great deal of time being either the "tree hugging hippie" or "the dirty industry guy" depending on the room I am talking with - something that I have started to find almost funny. We have a long history of being used by outside interests for their gain - not ours - and there are many things about that in our state right now. These truths lead to very interesting politics, so interesting that I have joked that the differentiators in West Virginia are way more narrow and nuanced than any national debate might have you believe. Folks that may have no problem with fossil fuel development generally may have a strong opposition to pipeline construction or mountain top removal mining. Folks that hate opiates and methamphetamines may be strongly for marijuana legalization and against jailtime for drug users. I've met several "hippies" (complete with tie-dye and long hair) that love hunting and shooting and own AR-15s, and ATV riding coal miners that "won't have a gun in the house". The common thread here is that folks want things to benefit the PEOPLE THAT LIVE HERE, not the shareholders in New York or the large donors in DC. We want to be able to feed our families, have stable work, send our kids to good schools, and have the lifestyle of being "with the land" - whether it's hunting or hiking or farming - and we don't see why it has to be one or the other.
I've started not trusting anyone, on either side, that tells me it must be "all or nothing". Those folks are people that probably haven't spent much time "walking in someone else shoes" - and probably have a low imagination, because they haven't spent much time thinking about it either.
Today's image felt resonant to me today because of the ripples and the waves - its been tough to find the "flat water" in our culture of late, but fortunately for us, we like these rivers "with the rocks in them".
River Waves - West Virginia