One of the most appealing features of our little corner of Northern Virginia is the beauty of its landscape. It’s pleasantly hilly, interestingly rolling, never aggressively steep. Woodlands are interspersed with open fields, vestigial traces of the many farms that dotted the area in the last century. We consider ourselves fortunate to live in one of the last few surviving farmhouses. On their 200 acres, the original owners planted wheat and raised chickens. They had a small apple orchard and a sizable flower garden.
On the other side of the winding county road, where big fields sweep down to small lakes, some families still keep horses. There are charming little stables, grassy paddocks and old vine-covered wooden fences. When Kiko and I walk there, it’s hard to believe we’re in suburbia, a place I never expected to live. We cross the road, follow a short path through the woods, and we’re suddenly somewhere more remote. It’s almost like a quick trip through time and space to the countryside of my childhood at my grandparents’ farm in Kentucky. Early on a spring morning, it’s an especially satisfying escape.