Letter: Astounding beauty vs. toxic ugliness

I was somewhere between here and the West Coast when I read the thread on Facebook’s Rappnet group about Jim Abdo’s properties in Little Washington. I made one comment and then stepped out of the fray because the tone and language being used appeared to be a repeat of how many residents here respond to anything related to the C or G words.

Change and Growth: When such concepts appear (particularly in the electronic forums), there is a ferocity that arises which, in my view, is not meant to express fear, but to maintain division here in the community. Fear incites the autonomic “us vs. them” mentality and, where natural divisions don’t exist, vitriol creates them, and lies perpetuate them.

As a healer who has driven 15,000 miles since February to do my work, I drive fast, hard and long to come back to this place — even without having a place of my own here. Last week I drove 17 hours just to lay my head in a bed here. In this place. The only place that has felt like home in my 45 years. I’ve had a dream of building a healing retreat center here and, after watching this latest episode of Rappahannock reality, I wonder how the two can co-exist: The astounding beauty and restorative nature inherent here alongside the toxic ugliness that pops up like Whack-a-Mole.

And, I wonder if the place that feels like home can ever actually become so and if, indeed, I want it to be so.

Thank you, Rappahannock News, for organizing the “Rapp Live” community forum and sharing the recording. I was glad to hear that real-life, face-to-face discussion included honesty, respect and community. Those are the things one likes about home.

Ingrid Oliphant
Flint Hill

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