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Living the "Spanish Pipedream"

The Late Great John Prine is one of America's greatest songwriters, and in "Spanish Pipedream," he writes:


“Blow up your TV, throw away your paper, go to the country and build you a home. Plant a little garden, eat a lot of peaches, try to find Jesus on your own.”


While I make no proclamations about what Prine meant by this, I gather some powerful insight from this simple chorus. Here is what that song means to me.


Blow up your TV, throw away your paper

I think it is time to shed the notion that you will be a better contributing member of society if you are “more informed.” For better or worse, the most forward forms of media today lean toward stoking our worst fears and anxiety. Most national news is far from actionable, and I feel a great deal of satisfaction can come from supporting and building our local community while maintaining general trust and belief in the human spirit.


Go to the country and build you a home

Breathing fresh air is important. Listening to the rhythms of nature adds value to your life. Sunshine is important--we know Vitamin D is proving to be an integral vitamin and hormone with profound negative health repercussion if you are deficient. These elements should be central to your homeplace. Part of our mission is to "leave a community of wellness and healing to our children," and I think SWVA is blessed with the opportunity to accomplish this.


Plant a little garden, eat a lot of peaches

In the most literal sense, gardeners are some of my happiest patients. It may be the seasonal eating or feeling responsible for the sustainability of the soil year after year--who is to say. Whether you are called to garden or not, find an undertaking that adds value to your life. Not just a hobby, but something that requires a little bit of sweat equity and you are likely to reap the rewards of your work.


In a larger sense, I ask patients, "what do you like to do for fun?" Too often the answer is framed, "I used to ..." It is always important to makes time for things that are important to you.


Try to find Jesus on your own

Victor Frankl wrote, "Those who have a 'why' to live, can bear with almost any 'how'." Across time and cultures, belief in something larger than yourself has been the "why" for millions of people. There comes a certain peace with "casting your burdens," because they no longer yours alone. And there is certainly something to be said for loving one another--looking into the eyes of another and seeing yourself.


If you still are not a believer, studies show “frequent attendance at religious services was associated with significantly lower risk of all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality ... Religion and spirituality may be an underappreciated resource that physicians could explore with their patients, as appropriate."



Inspiration is everywhere and--more likely than not--so are the keys to health and happiness. We are here to help, and not just with prescriptions and tests. We hope to put the things that you hold dear at the center of your healthcare and inform a plan to help you "live the dream."


Dr. Couch



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