Tag Archives: Virginia

Wordless Wednesday


Photography by Susan Warren Utley

(Okay just a few words: My photo of a Great Blue Heron as featured in the Summer 2013 issue of the Piedmont Virginian! Something to shout about even if it is Wordless Wednesday!)

Wordless Wednesday


Susan Warren Utley ©2011

Wordless Wednesday

Frontier Cultural Museum, Staunton, Virginia. Photography by Susan Warren Utley

Missing the Pacific Northwest

I talked with my mom today and she reminded me of something I had written some time back about missing the Pacific Northwest. She went looking for it again and couldn’t find it so I told her I’d track it down. I wrote this entry two years ago in June of 2008. Since then I have become more at ease with my home here in Virginia. My husband and I have grown to appreciate the land which is ours and the river that flows through it. The house we live in has sheltered us longer than any other home throughout our lives. But even today as we walk through the waters, holding hands and feeling the weight of the day wash away, we both know that one day we will leave Virginia. Where we will go is yet to be decided but reading this again reminds me of how dear to my heart the Pacific Northwest really is. I hope that one day I will be going home. I will take my husband with me and we will explore new waters together. So here it is mom. Thanks for the reminder.

Missing the Pacific Northwest

I just returned from the Pacific Northwest and already I am missing everything; the trees, the mountains, the people and yes, even the rain. Virginia is lovely but I have been here for ten years and I still can’t seem to call it home. I am reminded that I don’t belong here each time I return. From the moment I step off the plane I can smell the difference between here and there. It hangs in the air. It whispers in my ear. It weighs heavy on my heart. There is a constant sense of something pulling me back. A nagging voice inside my head keeps telling me that something is missing, that I left something valuable behind. I check my luggage, my backpack, my pockets and once again I find that everything physical has made it back and still I am left with the feeling that something has been forgotten. Only on the long drive back to the house do I realize that the thing that has been misplaced is me. Misplaced, displaced. But I am here. I have gone through the migration once again. So I will go through the motions of daily life until I am free to answer the call and return to the place that calms my heart and soothes my soul, the place that wraps its arms around me and says welcome home.

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Shallendilla River Days

“…who shall have rest and who shall go wandering, who shall be tranquil and who shall be disturbed; who shall be at ease and who shall be afflicted…”

Today I am thankful for the river. Thankful for a place where my husband and I can seek refuge from the storms, a place to find peace and balance, to rest our weary hearts and not be disturbed, to be at ease and come to terms with the decisions He has made.  Here is a small collection of photos taken on the Shenandoah River recently renamed the Shallendilla by Emme.

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