I am a new settler in a place that poets, farmers,
and hard-working business people have helped create.
It is a community of many contrasts, many lifestyles,
yet there is a sense of community.
It feels more like home than anywhere else I have ever lived.
There are people here who live in houses
without electricity or inside plumbing.
If you like 19th century living we have it here.
If you want to live on a mountaintop
and reach out to the world with electric fingers,
we have that here also.
We are a county with one stoplight
and more creative genius than you could imagine.
This is Floyd, VA, a place which embraces
both outdoor plumbing and fibre optic infrastructure.
I live here now, far from the beaches of Los Angeles
and far from the frenzy of Silicon Valley.
The palm trees and traffic of South Florida
are but a dim memory now,
as are the people-hives in the ever-growing
megalopolis of Washington-NY-Boston.
I came here to build a new life in a post-corporate world,
to write books and build woodwork of my own design.
I want to put down roots into this community
and turn my swords of corporate life into plowshares
with which to turn up opportunities
for myself and others.
This is fertile soil for new ideas,
but it is no land of milk and honey.
If you want work, you had best bring it with you.
Wresting a living out of this rocky soil
is a challenge for farmer and craftsman alike.
Only a talented and industrious few
have created businesses that employ many others.
One of the best things going for Floyd
is the plug and play aspect of its culture.
If you settle here, you will probably fit right in somewhere.
You will see hand-tooled boots and bare feet
passing each other on the main drag,
and rusted pickups with doors wired shut
parked next to armored Mercedes SUVs.
There is still room enough for all of us
and there is still a sense of caring for others
that has been lost elsewhere.
I can sit and have morning coffee
ensconced between people buying mountaintop McMansions
and a group of disabled people on an outing from their care center.
In Floyd, we all seem to be welcome somewhere.
Here, people work hard, but they make time for play.
When I see children clogging on the sidewalk
at the Friday Night jamboree,
it makes me more certain than ever
that I have come to the right place.
In this community, enjoying life
does not set me apart from others.
I am a blogger and I have so much fun
it is probably illegal somewhere.
Fortunately, the spirit of play
is a non-taxable intoxicant,
and I can drink as deeply as I want.
Citizen publishing (blogging) sets my ideas free
and the barriers are so low that the process is frictionless.
I write. Others read. They comment and tell others.
More people visit and the word spreads.
When you get tired of big city life and 24×7 traffic
and are ready to strike out on your own,
come to Floyd or some place like it,
this is your chance to pitch in and contribute
where your efforts will have some effect.
If you come equipped with talent
and a determination to make things go right,
you will fit right in.