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Lynchburg, Virginia - My Love Affair With a City

Updated on June 20, 2016
Pink and White Dogwoods bloom
Pink and White Dogwoods bloom | Source

Seasonal Awareness

It sneaks up on me every time, this season we call Spring. I suppose it's just all too easy to get fixated on the challenges of Winter and forget that Spring inevitably follows on its heels. I know this and yet something about Winter robs me of the awareness that there is a day each Spring when I fall in love all over again with this place I call home.

I am never quite prepared for the sensory overload of Spring's arrival. It is euphoric, similar to hearing a lover say "I love you" for the first time. It leaves me giddy and even a bit careless as it calls me to explore the areas of this city where its magnificence invades even the poorest areas of the inner city. Common sense tells me not to travel alone but this cannot wait. Wind or rain will tear the fragile blooms from their perch high up in the trees. and I cannot risk missing this. So, off I go.

Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!" ~Robin Williams



With age, I have developed my own personal rituals for each season. They aren't really scripted but seem to just happen when the seasons change. They are as necessary to my mental attitude as water and air are to life. My rituals are not dictated by calendars or clocks. They just happen. And so it is that this hub is being written after enjoying my ritualistic journey through this city, which is the object of my love affair in Spring.

It took place a couple of days ago when I had to run an errand in the middle of the day. Lately, it seems, my days are filled with errands to run and schedules to keep. My life has been a bit hectic. If you've read any of my other works, you are probably aware that my family is dealing with the effects of Alzheimer's disease in my Dad. It is a new journey for us and we have not yet found our groove. Each day is a new day filled with new challenges and too little time to find comfort in what we know or answers to what we don't yet understand. All this chaos made it quite easy for me to ignore the signs that Spring had arrived. The daffodils bloomed without my usual exuberance this year and for a short bit of time, that made me a little sad. At some point, I did notice the forsythia had bloomed but I did not take time to revel in this early sign of Spring. This is not normal for me.

As I drove across town to conduct my business, the revelation hit me - my city is beautiful! Of course, I knew this but in my day-to-day madness, I had neglected to notice. But not this day. Suddenly, I felt my senses come alive. I could smell Spring and everywhere i looked I saw all the reasons why I love this place. There were my friends, the Dogwoods and the Cherry trees and yes, the Redbuds had bloomed too. My city was alive with color and the backdrop for it all was a fresh, deep green of grass that I had not seen for many months. For a moment, I was stunned by the beauty and then, by my own response to it all. I live midway up the East Coast in a city that is only 3 hours from the ocean and in a city surrounded by mountains. How on earth did Spring sneak up on me this way?

Redbuds in bloom
Redbuds in bloom | Source

The Lesson

No, this is not an article about trees or grass, or even about the seasons. It's not even really about my love affair with my city. It's really about life and how easy it is to let the challenges of life get in the way of living.

I can't explain why that little trip across town was the catalyst for my awakening but I can tell you that I am grateful. Had it not happened the way it did, I could easily have woken up in June to the higher temperatures of Summer and wondered - "what happened to Spring". I would have missed the opportunity that nature and this city I love provided. You see, I didn't just take care of my business during that moment of awareness that Spring had arrived. Instead of returning to my job immediately, I took advantage of the moment and toured my city, enjoying all of the places that have brought me joy during my time here. I knew where to find the streets lined with the flowering Cherry trees and I remembered where the city engineers had planted the brilliant colors of tulips. Driving at my leisure, I visited the old historic churches where lawns are groomed with precision and care and yes, even in the poorest areas of the inner city there are well planned landscapes because, my city doesn't discriminate against poverty. The poor deserve to enjoy the seasons like the affluent.

Come, take a look at Spring in Virginia

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Pink and White DogwoodsCherry TreeStar Magnolia
Pink and White Dogwoods
Pink and White Dogwoods | Source
Cherry Tree
Cherry Tree | Source
Star Magnolia
Star Magnolia | Source

I think that no matter how old or infirm I may become, I will always plant a large garden in the spring. Who can resist the feelings of hope and joy that one gets from participating in nature's rebirth? ~Edward Giobbi

The Reason For The Season

Spring is the season where life springs forth from the hard crust of winter, from the weathered bark of the trees and with it - comes hope. It rejuvenates and repairs. Whatever darkness we endured during the cold months of Winter becomes less daunting or threatening and. But, it cannot do it alone.

It is up to us to slow down; to seize that moment that allows our senses to awaken to the warmth of the sun, the fragrance of flowers, the vision of a living earth waking from its Winter nap. My journey through this city I love has reminded me that each challenge I face is as temporary, as the seasons. Armed with this knowledge, I can face it without fear or dread. With it, I am reminded that this love affair with my city isn't about history or horticulture. It is about me and about what really matters in life. My advice to you is this -

Slow down. Enjoy the season. Skip out on work or trade a trip to the grocery store for a ride in the country. Visit a favorite place. Let your mind get quiet Life is what we make it.

Tell me...

Do you take time to enjoy the seasons?

See results

© 2013 Linda Crist


Submit a Comment
  • lrc7815 profile imageAUTHOR

    Linda Crist 

    5 years ago from Central Virginia

    ALL4JESUS , hello, and thank you for taking time to share your thoughts. Oneness with the world is a lofty goal but one that more of us should strive to achieve. I do not believe that everyone shares my love of the natural world nor do I think everyone is moved by the colors in nature. But, I hope that in sharing my feelings, even one person will see it all through different eyes. Again, many thanks!

  • ALL4JESUS profile image


    5 years ago from USA

    Gardens, greenery and flowers in every city across the globe unify all us toward peace and love. Who can not smile when they see a bud develop? A butterfly alight on a branch or finally after a long winter, hear the song of the birds? Our cities, our states, our world is great. God is greatest of all. If we can feel his love through these visions, we have connected and are one with the world.

  • lrc7815 profile imageAUTHOR

    Linda Crist 

    6 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Jackie. I so agree with you and I find so much joy and comfort from nature. It's wonderful that the seasonal beuty can bring you fond memories of your parents. Thanks for stopping by. My Mom had another stroke so I'm a little busy and unable to find much time to write at the moment. I hope to be back at it soon though.

  • lrc7815 profile imageAUTHOR

    Linda Crist 

    6 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hey GYpsy. I love lilacs too! Thanks for the compliment and votes. I always appreciate your time and comments.

  • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

    Gypsy Rose Lee 

    6 years ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

    Voted up and awesome. Such lovely pics. It all sounds just as wonderful when over on this side of the ocean the lilacs and apple trees start blooming.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 

    6 years ago from The Beautiful South

    God's beauty is always there to give us joy and help us through hard times. My parents both are gone now but any natural beauty always brings them to mind. Thanks for sharing with us, good to hear from you again.

  • lrc7815 profile imageAUTHOR

    Linda Crist 

    6 years ago from Central Virginia

    Jim, thank you! Hope you are doing well and enjoying the season in your beautiful state.

  • xstatic profile image

    Jim Higgins 

    6 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

    Beautiful words and photos to welcome this season of renewal, Linda. I know that VA is a very beautiful state.

  • lrc7815 profile imageAUTHOR

    Linda Crist 

    6 years ago from Central Virginia

    MH, hello my friend! It's good to be back, albeit sporatic still until we get things settled in the family. I thought of you on this day of Spring when I was able to grab the camera and take a mini tour of my city. I realize that your illness prevents you from doing many things that others enjoy and still you bring so much love and humor to the world through your gift of the written word. As writers, we allow allow others to see the world through our eyes. So, we will share the mission. Deal?

  • lrc7815 profile imageAUTHOR

    Linda Crist 

    6 years ago from Central Virginia

    Dear Faith, you are always my cheerleader, urging me onward and upward and I do not take that for granted. You are such a treasure. Yes, I agree that this awakening was God and I take great comfort in that. These may be difficult days but I know where my strength and endurance comes from and I do not take that for granted either. Even in this time of fear and worry, we grow ever stronger as a family and are finding many things to enjoy and appreciate. Thank you Faith,for always shining your light.

  • lrc7815 profile imageAUTHOR

    Linda Crist 

    6 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Theater girl! You got it, didn't you? lol Thanks for the visit.

  • lrc7815 profile imageAUTHOR

    Linda Crist 

    6 years ago from Central Virginia

    velzipmur, thank you so much for visiting. I'm a Blue Ridge Mountain loyalist too and know the area you mention (Fancy Gap). It is beautiful and life is a bit simpler in these small mountain towns. The coast is beautiful too but my heart belongs to the mountains. Sending you Blue Ridge Mountain hugs and wishes for a beautiful season of awareness.

  • lrc7815 profile imageAUTHOR

    Linda Crist 

    6 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hello Theresa! Thanks for the delightful compliments. I'm glad you enjoyed this introducton to my favorite season and appreciate your sentiments more than you know.

  • Mhatter99 profile image

    Martin Kloess 

    6 years ago from San Francisco

    Great to have you back, I live in SF. If you satellite where I live you can see how lucky I could be. My illness prevents me from taking in what you described.

  • lrc7815 profile imageAUTHOR

    Linda Crist 

    6 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Georgie. Your comment reminded me that tough times don't last but tough people do. lol I'm glad we both have enjoyed the presence of Spring this year. Wishing you sunny skies!

  • lrc7815 profile imageAUTHOR

    Linda Crist 

    6 years ago from Central Virginia

    Kathryn, hello again, and thank you for the lovely comment, thoughts, and expression of understanding. Your visit is so appreciated.

  • lrc7815 profile imageAUTHOR

    Linda Crist 

    6 years ago from Central Virginia

    Bill, thank you for being the first to visit and more, for the hug. I can't tell you how much I miss writing every day and long for the time when I can resume. But, other matters are more important for now and I know you understand. This one had been on my mind for a few days and I was determined to get it out this weekened. Thank you so much for the sentiment.

  • Faith Reaper profile image

    Faith Reaper 

    6 years ago from southern USA

    Dear Linda,

    I really love Spring, as it is just a time of renewal and rebirth, and I think the manner in which you had realized Spring is here and upon you was no accident. I believe God was revealing himself to you on this particular day amongst your errands and all that you have going on in this particularly difficult time in your life, for a reason, and wanted you to slow down and take time to enjoy this life (between all the other stuff).

    I am always in awe of Spring, as it just rejuvenates me with such exhilaration at the sheer beauty of His creation, that I am just awestruck, especially after a dreary winter.

    I think God wanted to tell you on this particular day, that new and brighter days are ahead and just take the time to stop and enjoy each day in between the hectic times.

    I love that your city does not discriminate between the poor or affluent!!! Yes, the poor, in my mind, more so than the affluent, really need to see the beauty of Spring all around them, which signifies hope in my mind, that the old is passing away and the new is ahead and it is beautiful.

    Please know, dear friend, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Voted up ++++ and sharing

    Hugs and love, Faith Reaper

  • Theater girl profile image


    6 years ago from New Jersey

    A great reminder to pay attention to what is around you!

  • velzipmur profile image

    Shelly Wyatt 

    6 years ago from Maryland

    I am totally in love with the seasons, life and Virginia! Great hub! I have recently been to Chincoteague, Virginia. I like this area of Virginia but my true love is the Blue Ridge Mountains. My grandparents retired in Fancy Gap, Virgina and I have spent a good deal of time there.

  • phdast7 profile image

    Theresa Ast 

    6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

    You do have a lovely city and the pictures are just wonderful. But when family members are in decline and need assistance it makes it hard to notice the normal things, because life has become so abnormal. It was that way for me the last two years of mg father's life. You and your family have my sympathy and prayers. Sharing. Blessings Theresa

  • Georgie Lowery profile image

    GH Price 

    6 years ago from North Florida

    I have real trouble with winter. I get real down. Spring snuck up on me here in NC. I spent the last two in New York and it felt like Spring took forever to get there. It sure does help the mood. I'm glad it got you, too. :)

  • Kathryn Stratford profile image


    6 years ago from Windsor, Connecticut

    This is beautiful, Linda! I know how it feels to just go on with life without paying much attention, and then to suddenly be aware of the beauty surrounding me. After Winter, it feels like an awakening. I really enjoy seeing the colors come out, replacing the drab gray and brown colors of Winter.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, your photos, and the clever quotes, and I hope you notice the beauty around you even when you are going through rough times. I know it can be hard.

    Voted up, and sharing with others. Happy Spring!

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    6 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Beautiful for sure, Kindred! So good to see you writing again. I have missed you.

    I don't have much time, but I wanted to make sure you knew I was here and I had read your hub.....and it was well-worth the wait.

    Sending a hug of friendship and love to you.



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