Flatland is little aid to contemplation, and so Mary Chapin Carpenter has her own hill. It’s deep in the Virginia countryside, on a farm that she got for a song. Or rather, for a bunch of songs, and a way of singing and playing them that has taken her around the world and back home, over and again. Carpenter and those songs have traveled for thirty years, though the songs are the most frequent fliers. They spring from her head and hands, vibrate through tone woods and six steel strings, then find their way into microphones. Then they go forth into the world - they’ve been doing that for thirty years now—even at times when their creator sits at the top of her hill and observes natural wonders both human-made and mysterious.