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West Virginia, my home

From the blog of Clay Marsh, Vice President of Health Sciences and Executive Dean of the School of Medicine. For more blogs, visit

I love being back home.

On my daily walk this morning in West Virginia University's Core Arboretum and the rails to trails path, I saw the beauty and spirituality of West Virginia.

Majestic mountains, still water, trees and nature abounds. In the peace of this setting, animals busied themselves being themselves.

In the moment. Not thinking about the future or the past. No perseverations or worries.

There is a lesson for us and I believe the state will show us the way to rediscover our roots and what is really important.

Good friends, service, love and an appreciation of all the small and amazing moments that most of us are blind to most of the time.

We have a beautiful state and we have begun the journey together to restore WV to its grandeur – lets clean up the litter, paint its buildings and strip the layers of time that impairs us living in the beauty that is here every day.

New York City helped reverse its crime problems by following the “broken windows” theory. Instead of just focusing on the large crimes – rapes and murders – the city focused on repairing the broken windows, painting over the graffiti and returning pride and empowerment to communities.

We need to do the same thing here – because as the broken windows are fixed and the communities taken care of, West Virginia will rise like the phoenix for all to see.

While vacationing in Vermont many years ago, I was told to return for the foliage. When I asked what that was, the person responded it is when the leaves change color and tourists flock.

I thought that was every fall in the Kanawha valley, where I grew up.

The mountains changed colors.

We have a beautiful state – time to restore her luster by cleaning up the impact of time and neglect.