Valleys Get a Bad Rap

Monday, July 9, 2012

The high points of our lives are often referred to as "mountain-top experiences," and the low points are called valleys. The analogy does make some sense, and I've used it myself. Still, I think valleys get a bad rap.

I took this picture of Roanoke Valley from an overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which wends its way through the Blue Ridge Mountains. Roland and I drove most of the Parkway during our vacation last month, but much of our sightseeing occurred in towns nestled in the nearby valleys.

That's because the mountains provide breathtaking views but poor living conditions. Try eking a living out of the mountains when the land isn't level enough to plant large fields. Or try establishing a community where there are few flat places to build houses on. Both are possible, but they aren't easy.

Compare that to the valleys. Although it's hard to tell from the picture, 300,000 people live in Roanoke Valley, including almost 100,000 in the city of the same name. The valley is also home to colleges and farms and wineries and an airport serviced by several major airlines.

Valleys are where more of life happens, so they are also where most of the history is. And because Roland and I like visiting historical places, much of our sightseeing occurred in the valleys.

It's nice to get away to the mountains occasionally, but most people can't live there.

So I thank God for the valleys.

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