A deep dive into Barnardsville

To hear Majo read this text, click this link:


When I left Asheville a year ago on March 28, my first stop was two months in the mountains outside of Barnardsville.

Within a day of being out in the mountains, I realized why I had been so unhappy living in downtown Asheville. I was meant to be in the mountains – and meant to surrender myself to the power of nature, and to discover the beauty and richness of the people of Appalachia.

After two months out here, I thought I had a pretty good bead on Barnardsville and the people who lived here. What an idiot I was!

Coming back here now, a year later, I have been transformed pretty thoroughly by the power of nature and by my encounters with the sweet people of the Appalachia.

Yesterday, a guy named Dennis, who works at the D&D Grocery store – a big gruff old guy who I was sure did not like me – swung by in his green Jeep, near my van in the parking lot by the little park that I call Outlook Point, and asked, “You got enough food?” So much for my having a clear reading of what’s going on out here!

We had a fabulous little three-minute chat. He said to me out of the blue, “We’re gonna turn you into a real country boy yet.”

I had been in that grocery store many times during my two months out here a year ago, but did not remember him. I asked him, “Did you know me a year ago?” He said yeah.

I asked, “Do you see a change in me now, a year later?” I know how much I have changed, but I was wondering if it actually shows.

Dennis said, “Yeah, you have changed a lot. You’re starting to sound a little bit like us.Now I can tell that you really like us country people.”

It was one of the most powerful and meaningful “healing validations” I have ever received. I wanted to cry.

This 11 minute video, shot from the top of a rock in Outlook Point, describes some of the things I have been learning about Barnardsville, the D&D Grocery store, this little hamlet that used to be called Dillingham, and the fabulous country people of Appalachia.


Published by


These days all of my identities are converging: whether I am offering a blessing in the grocery store checkout line, offering a prayer in a poem or experiencing the kinship with all life while walking my or a client's dog - it's all the same. It's all Life.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s