“We’re Rural, Not Stupid” Part 3


    ( – promoted by Dan Sullivan)

    This is the third in our series of letters from Nelsonians relating their concerns about Dominion’s Atlantic Coast pipeline.

    Marion Kanour is an involved and active member of the Nelson community.  She was born and raised in Norfolk, served in the US Marine Corps for 4 years as an Aviation Supply Officer and has been an ordained Episcopal Priest for 21 years.  Marion currently serves as the Priest of Grace Episcopal Church, Massie’s Mill, Nelson, VA.  She has a knack for seeing needs in our community and setting about to fill those needs.  As well as supporting many community groups (i.e, the renovation of a local baseball field), she has played an integral role in the creation of Nelson’s Domestic Violence Task Force, as well as being the organizer of one of Nelson’s anti-pipeline groups, Free Nelson.  She and her wife, Barbara Heyl, live in the Greenfield area of Nelson County.

    Here’s Marion’s poignant letter:

     photo RuralNotStupidMarionampBarbarasCalf_zps3d7d97fe.jpg

    We first bought our small 15 acre Nelson County farm in 2002, falling in love with the land and the people. Season after season, we continue to marvel at the beauty of where we now call home. The land is generous, allowing us to try our hand with dairy cows, beehives, laying hens and a rooster, as well as our organic gardens. All allow us the chance to provide much of our own food and connect us at a deeply satisfying level with the personal honesty homestead farming teaches…and requires. Working our land has created within us a sense of connection with place that we’ve not experienced in quite the same way anywhere else we’ve lived. We’re “come here’s” with an acquired sense of rootedness that goes well beyond simply being “residents of Nelson County.”

    Words fall short of describing the sense of despair we felt when first we learned of the proposed pipeline. If you’ve worked on the land, have its dirt under your nails, if you’ve watched calves birthed, chicks hatched, crops thrive and fail, if you’ve wept at the beauty of the sunset and the sun-studded morning fog, then the proposed pipeline is a profane violation of all you know to be sacred.

    Some folks have asked us why we’re so upset about the pipeline, saying once it’s in place, we’ll never know it’s there. We’ve spent twelve years attuning ourselves to the deep pulse of our land. What folly to suppose we’d overlook a 42″ pipeline buried in a shallow grave, forcing fracked gas at a rate of 1440 psi.

    I’ll thank the proposed pipeline for two things: for reminding me of the strong will and fight bequeathed me by my Scots-Irish heritage and for connecting us one to another, as we stand together to oppose this would-be intruder. No Pipeline. It takes a village. We are the village.

    Marion Kanour

    Greenfield, VA


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