Friday, August 20, 2010
My Little Hill
When I was a student at Virginia Tech I would drive home to NOVA, (or Northern Virginia, for you non-Dominions.) The drive took anywhere from 3.5 hours to 5 depending on your speed. Somewhere close to Buchanan on the northbound side of Interstate 81, there is a little hill.
Now, in the late 1980's/early 90's that hill was a cow pasture. It was a trim little mound of green that told me I was about an hour away from my dorm room, or apartment. It stood out from all the hundreds of green Virginia hills. I think it was because it reminded me of the hills near the California coast. It felt comfortable to view. Maybe there is a large deposit of iron within it and I am a little iron-hill magnet. Whatever the reason, it became part of my journey to Virginia Tech. (It was never very visible when I was NOVA-bound.) I would slow my little green Honda down a little to see how he was. "Hey! Little Hill!"
On my last trip as a student to Virginia Tech I was sad to see it fly past my window. I wondered if I'd ever see it again.
In 2003 my son and I moved to Blacksburg. I had a little apartment at Windsor Hills. My mom was living in Mt Vernon and the old travel dynamic started up again. Holidays and long weekends in the DC area. Wally and I drove the I-81 and I-66 stretch back and forth, and our trips home always included a big shout to our Little Hill. By this time, a good 10+ years later, he had a little fuzzy stubble of trees. I took this to mean that the cows hadn't been around to trim the seedlings in a while. He was still the comfortable little green beacon I remembered.
We stayed in B-Burg until 2004 or 2005, and then we moved to California. On the last NOVA trip I made a special stop to photograph Little Hill. It was overcast and drizzling. I said, "Bye, Little Hill."