Mabry MillCatch a plane this afternoon and, in a couple of days, I’ll be back in the mountains, back to where I don’t have to check the newspaper to see if the air is fit to breathe or listen to the traffic reports to see if I need to take an alternate route to reach my destination.

Been away far too long, much longer than I thought, chasing that elusive thing called truth, a commodity impossible to find in a political world of spin, posture and position.

In the coming week, I get to sit down and talk to people about much more important matters — bluegrass music and its role in our history and culture; stock car racing, legends like Floyd Countian Curtis Turner and what we might do to honor his memory; the beauty of sunsets over the Buffalo and the best way to capture that beauty on film and video.

Instead of fighting crowds for a table at lunch, I can drive up to Mabry Mill on the Parkway and watch the ducks while munching a sandwich.

By the time I am forced, by client demands and the necessity of duty, to return to the city, my Wrangler will be covered in the same mud that will cake my boots. In the city, the dirt is not always so visible. It’s different but it is more insidious.

The mud of the country washes off with water. But the dirt of the city invades our bodies, destroys the tissue of our lungs and eats at our souls. You start to wonder how much the body can take before time in the country can no longer rejuvenate you and wash it away.