The first generation...
There are not sufficient words to express what it is like to wake up with the apricot light of sunrise spilling over Weavers Knob, cascading into pastures of green or white with snow. Since early childhood I have crossed the massive and time worn thresholds to walk barefoot on the grass, heavy with the night’s dew, to sit beneath the huge canopy of ancient maples housing a rising chorus of song birds.
In winter, the countless hours we have enjoyed the comfort of the large kitchen fireplace, roaring with firewood from the farm, while the wind wraps her arms around the house with snow swirling and driving, sometimes up to two feet by morning. In spring there is nothing quite like sitting on the upper portico where you can see the valley full of horses and cattle grazing and watching a busy vixen tending her young kits just over the crest of the east pasture. Perhaps most thrilling is to watch the summer storms roll in, lightning dancing on higher ground, feeling the swell of thunder vibrate through your body as the rain moves through this lush, fertile valley. The fall in the Allegheny Mountains, is to me, the most desirable, the air is crisp, clean, and the colors of the variety of sugar maple, oak and poplar dot the mountains and valleys with such rich contrast. Days melt into each other with sort of a dreamy quality, like life could go on forever. Picnics are a must, and dinner outside with the huge, orange harvest moon is never to be forgotten.
Swift Level has ushered through birth and death five generations of my family, and the families before us who have all been instrumental in its blueprint surviving wars, depressions, the perils and joys of farming, business and life.
Written by Jennifer "Tootie" Jones