This is the township where I grew up, wrote for “The Goochland Gazette” one summer, rode on the kennel float for Goochland Day, floated down the James River in inner tubes from Irwin to Maidens and got lost on the neighbors’ 450 acres one day riding my horse Buck, going in circles through the forest.
This was Shangri-La to me and I never thought I’d be anywhere else. My favorite places were the bluff where Kita and I would roam, the hill on the Towers’ land and hanging out in the ‘bird cage,’ my Dad raised around 250 ducks, a couple of gaggles of Canada geese, recuperated 3-4 injured hawks, an osprey and an owl or tow, reformed Daisy the raccoon and I talked to my best friend Buck on a daily basis.
By some accounts it could be called a lonely existence (when you’re talking to your horse) and by others (especially that nag called retrospect), it was quite simply, bliss.
I was lucky to grow up here, despite the insanity that prevailed in the bloodlines around me, I was able to lose myself in the land and find peace at a place we called “Reflections” at the end of a very long driveway on Route 631.
But it’s true, you can never go home again, because when I try to find places and landmarks now, or look at my old home, it does not look familiar. The nine ponds are gone. There are more houses. It looks scattered and tattered, like no one really cares about it the way I did. And so, I don’t know if I will even be strong enough to go back, at least not yet.