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"Almost Heaven, West Virginia"

I wasn't in the state of West Virginia but, I was in the western part of Virginia. I was staying at Nimrod Hall, a retreat for artist, for the last week. John Denver's song, which my father would sing to us when we were children, was on repeat in my head while I spent the days soaking in the greenery of the Shenandoah Valley. Curney Nuffer was the visiting artist during my time there and he guided a small group of us on various lessons and paint alongs. It was not just lessons in painting but, lessons on people and a reminder of just how beautiful and kind and warm people can be. A reminder that was much needed for when I came out of the little bubble to hear of the tragedy that had unfolded in Orlando. How the world can hold so much beauty and ugliness at the exact same instance is something I just can't wrap my head around. I think of the lyrics to Denver's song, "Country roads, take me home, To the place I belong," and I hope/pray/wish that all those who are suffering find a place where they belong.

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