On a clear Georgia day with a slight western breeze, playing in the back yard with his trusted and beloved cocker spaniel, Lucky. A soft landing from a tumble and he’s back up from his skinned knees – “look-at-me, Im ok,” just a quick brush off; he knows mother watches, he knows her motherly instincts – the mind’s eye sees her step toward him on their tiny back-porch.
A quick glance in her direction is his signal that all’s ok; as proof, he determinedly chases fun-loving, boisterous Lucky with considerably more young-boy vigor; mother pauses, then stops – feet click together softly at faithful attention like the proud Marine her son would aspire to be.
The routine continues for a lifetime: a pervasive mental vision of the back door to the kitchen in the country house suddenly opening, its tired squeakiness drowned out by the shout of her boy as he rushes in from some distant place: “Mother, I made it – I’m home!”
She said with greater persistence as the years rolled on, “Why are you always going places? If you’d come home for good, son, I’d lead the high school marching band ’round the square!”
The bitter sweetness of the grown-up boy today, seasoned in the ways of the traveled. Here, with Georgia red clay on his knees, kneeling to plant a flower in the rich, fertile soil while giving grace to God for allowing precious memories to be preserved; an appreciated smile to the heavens unhidden, red clay marks from the paws of a new youthful pup who is allowed to jump around and show love and emotion freely stripe down his vintage rock n roll t shirt, red clay between his toes from fishing on the river’s bank – back where mother always wanted him – close by – close enough to drive and sit by her gravestone…on clear Georgia days – days with a promise of a slight western breeze.
Gone so fast, back so slow – people all around here in the Georgia mountains watching nature’s colorful signal that the curtain will soon close on this annual phase, but with the promise of a brilliant colorful encore ’round the bend.
We live – we learn nature’s ways. It’s never too late to go home – and it’s ok to seek comfort and forgiveness in scripture and verse. For him, it’s the simplicity of adored words passed on at the supper table and held in heart from generations of the good, hard-working souls, an alive, pioneering spirit engrained in his DNA. His Book’s mark is Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. “Turn-Turn-Turn – to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose, under heaven.”
October – 2019