Thursday, May 7, 2015

"Soul Music....."

After awakening about six-thirty this morning, it took about an hour to just find sanity. Whether just the usual allergies that plague one in this section of the country as spring breaks into bloom or maybe part of what comes with the package at reaching seventy-three years of age, my brain felt trapped in a balloon and thinking took effort. A couple of aspirins. A hot cup of coffee. Pressure eased and it occurred to me that the book I’ve been reading was left in the car yesterday afternoon. I donned an old hoodie, stepped out into the coolness of a world still in the process of escaping darkness and, having retrieved my study of “Between Cross and Resurrection”, I sat down on a backyard bench hoping to catch the sun as it rose above the hills to the east. The ground was wet with dew. Squirrels and birds were already about their business. The sound of traffic on the main highway, muffled by the distance between us, was suddenly lost in several drawn-out, almost connected warning blares of a train approaching on the steep, wooded slope a few hundred yards behind me. Such intrusion might well have startled others. For me, it was merely part of life as it has come to me for more than two decades now. My son-in-law has known this area as “home” for all his life. Beth and I stepped into it when the oldest grandson was born and the soft clickety-clack of the rail cars passing through long ago became a familiar melody. Indeed, for this old man, it takes me back to growing up in the inner city, my parent’s house but a half block down from an underpass; and, with air-conditioning not yet invented, our windows were open most summer evenings. The L&N and the C&O lullabied me to sleep quite often. How easy, it seems to me, for us to adapt. Physically. Spiritually. If we’re not careful, we simply accept our circumstances, follow what is fed us, and think ourselves holding the fullness of all that there is. That said, it might be well to admit it possible to be so impassioned about what we don’t possess that we lose sight of the treasure we already own. Balance, in all things, came to me March 27th, 1972, at one-thirty in the afternoon, when Christ restored anchorage within this old man’s soul. Dawn broke forth in the middle of my nightmare. Peace became a promise confirmed again and again no matter what the day, itself, would bring…….


  1. You are so right about the need for balance! I needed to read this one today, thanks.

    One of the things on my unofficial "bucket list" I keep in my head is to take a train trip one of these days.

  2. Thirty years on the railroad, Annie, and other than riding an engine around a bit in the yard, the only train ride ever known was one taking me from Naples, Italy to Madrid, Spain. It wound through the mountains, held its share of passengers and a few chickens, Europe not all that modernized back in 1968. Those cars swayed back and forth on the rail and it would almost make one seasick.....

    1. Jim, these little snippets of stories and past experiences linked together would make a helluva read, I think. I wonder sometimes if you would ever dabble in fiction writing; you know, like Buechner, just letting a story tell itself without a pre-conceived agenda. There's something very appealing about taking that kind of gamble.

    2. When I first began journaling online, my posts were more along these lines; but, after awhile, you tell yourself it's all been told. A Frederick Buechner? Now there's a challenge......