The Shortest Day of the Longest Year: Out of Darkness Comes Light

The Kanawha in Charleston. Photo by author.

I woke up in a tent on the ridge above Cat Gut on the shortest day of the longest year and shook the morning rain off the fly. My car was parked in a friend’s yard, his house looking like it could slide into the creek, and I nodded to old man chopping wood before kicking my boots and getting in the driver’s seat. He stared at me and spat.