Letter to the Editor – A String of Pearls

Recently someone gave me a string of pearls; beautiful, white, lustrous, and luminescent.  From them hung a very sweet red heart.  And even more recently it occurred to me that life is like a strand of lustrous, luminescent pearls,  and every time we travel around the sun it gets longer and longer with memories.  Those memories are the seeds that feed our souls with joy and love.  And added to them are all of my favorite things

For instance, I don’t seem to be able to get enough of certain things like the Clarke County Farmer’s Market and the watermelon, kale, and Asian pears I can get there.  They represent a long segment on my string of pearls year after year.  And my gratitude to the farmers that grow those good things is deep and abiding, another bunch of luminescent pearls.  Can’t get quite enough of my children or grandchildren either.  They are really big lustrous pearls on my string of pearls.  Whenever the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center offers the public the chance to witness the release of one of the raptors they have rehabilitated back into the wild, my heart swells with wonder; and more pearls appear.

And last fall my string of pearls got really long when the Barns opened.  Week after week I stroll through downtown Berryville to the Barns.  An infusion of community spirit fills that beautiful space with palpable energy and opportunity.  Music, dance, art, theater, puppets, and more fill me with life and light.  Last night’s benefit for Josephine School Community Museum brought us extraordinary cool jazz on a hot night.  The performers were seasoned players who barely moved when they performed fabulous jazz and even a bit of Elvis.  It was a great night at the Barns.  More pearls.

My string of pearls grows longer and longer as life offers me chances to feel the deep and abiding gratitude for life, for love, and for the opportunities to connect with each other and all that is.  Thank you life and the Clarke County community for a long and luminescent string of pearls.


Mary Jane Lee

Berryville, Virginia


  1. And thank you, Ms. Lee, for sharing this lovely observation and appreciation of our community. Nice to read nice news amidst so much that’s not so nice.