Sunday, October 14:
Sometimes on nights when the sky is overcast the two hundred foot flare burning waste gases from the coke plant twelve miles downriver paints the underbelly of the clouds a flickering orange that can be seen from miles away. When we wander down to the river the hills on the West Virginia side are silhouetted against a burning sky.
From the monastery chapel worshippers at early morning mass can determine the prevailing wind direction by the clouds of steam rising from the evaporating towers belonging to the nuclear power plant thirty miles upriver.
Traffic on the Beautiful river moves in majestic grace, twelve barges sunk low under mountains of coal, shepherded by one conscientious tug.
Here, wide open sky means that a generation ago the stewards of this land gave it over to be strip mined.
Lest, reading our stories, it should appear that our farm is not in the real world.