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Welcome to
My Beautiful Valley

How wonderful it is to have some of heaven on this earth.
To hide away and breathe. To let the spirit find new birth.
This is such a beautiful valley with carpet misty green.
Walk with me today. Let go and let yourself dream.
We have plenty of time to think and ample time to wander.
We'll explore over here, then way over yonder.
We're standing on this special hill, which commands a fantastic view.
It's a treat each time I come here and discover it anew.
To lean against a shade tree and watch the songbirds bring
     together their celestial choir so the whole world can hear them sing.
Here comes a group of cows meandering down the meadow fair.
They act like a family living life without a single care.
They eat a common meal as one in common peace.
Sharing their homeland valley with rabbits, squirrels and geese.
And how many wild animals to this stream have come to drink?
Or with her young papoose did the Indian girl sit here to think?
Oft we find some proof of those of yesteryear.
Here's a knife, and there's a needle, which they crafted so dear.
And there it hardly stands . . . the old home place.
Its majesty is gone. It slumps with dignity and grace.
But with it yet abides many mysteries yet untold.
The secrets it possesses are more precious than any man's gold.
And just beyond the home place is the gate that stands ajar.
It's the path they took to heaven. I know it goes that far.
Why don't you go and explore now and find truth that's all your own.
Search for that which you need to know and find what you may be shown.
Now we've spent the day together and watched our shadows grow.
The sun is almost gone, filling our valley with its lush warm glow.
The valley never one time asked that we become its debtor.
What it gives is freely given, without cord, or chain, or fetter.
The stars now shine upon us. This special time has come to its end.
I long for the next time I can visit this hallowed valley once again.

J.B. Simmons
February 10, 2002


Some background from Mr. Simmons:

In the mid-1970s, I met "Mr. Stith" while he was a patient in Baptist Hospital East in Louisville. We talked several times and became friends. (Sorry, but I don't recall his first name.) At that time I was interested in shooting groundhogs. He, very kindly, invited me out to the farm to shoot some of his.

I probably didn't come but four or five times. Mr. Stith was always warm and friendly and we spent a good bit of time talking. I remember having a bite to eat with him in the kitchen and seeing what seemed like 100 boxes of cereal on the counter. I had never seen that many open boxes of cereal before. (Nor have I seen it since.)

On another occasion, one of his sons had trapped a big turtle under the metal grate along the road at the house that led into the pasture area. Mr. Stith took me back on the property to show me something of interest. By the time we got back, the turtle had escaped.

The point to all this is that I still have warm memories of how I was so gracious received by Mr. Stith. I am a writer. Several years ago I wrote a poem about my times of escape from the pressurized world I was in by walking around the Stith farm and simply enjoying its beauty.

I thought you might be interested in the impression that Stith Valley Farm made on me almost 35 years ago. It is truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.

My submitting this poem, to whomever might appreciate it in the Stith line, is my way of expressing appreciation to Mr. Stith for his kindness in allowing me to enjoy such a beautiful place.

J.B. Simmons
December 2008