Dropped by the Jesse Peterman library last night to see Fred First’s photos and words show about why he and his wife settled in Floyd County.

Like most things from Fred, the show featured incredible photography, flowing prose and exacting attention to detail. Fred, always the scientist, doesn’t just want to know that something is a bug — he wants to know the bug’s full, Latin-based named, history and family tree.

But while my friend from Goose Creek may have answers for the identity of the most obscure of insects, he still can’t find the answer for the most elusive of questions: Just what exactly is it about this area that draws people here or (as in my case) back?

Some talk about the beauty of the mountains, others cite the tranquility of life here while still others wax poetically about people, culture or history. But a definitive answer remains lost in the fog of a Floyd County morning.

Perhaps a single, all-defining answer is not possible because different people come here for reasons that are specific only to them. Some come to escape the urban jungle. Others for the clean air. And others for a mountain lifestyle that may, or may not, turn out to be what they imagined.

I still do not know why I came back after 40 years nor does my city-born and raised wife fully understand why she came with me.

All that we do know for sure is that we’re glad we did.