Today was supposed to be a 100 degree day. So, I decided to take advantage of the semi-scorching temp and do some clutter patrol indoors in the AC. The stack of stuff on my desk that could no longer be ignored included several unread magazines. I got a little sidetracked by an article in one of them written by Rick Bragg, author of All Over But the Shoutin’. Luckily it was on the back page. So, it was the first thing I saw when I opened the May issue of Southern Living.
In his article entitled My Bother’s Garden, Mr. Bragg writes, ‘The South, like chiggers and divinity candy, is everlasting. It will always be, though it will not always be as we remember. The South of our childhoods rusts, peels, and goes away. Brush arbors have left no trace on it. Preachers who thrust ragged Bibles at bare rafters now shout politics from the pulpit. Civility, toward even those with whom we do not agree, is an heirloom. Quilts, the kind made for warmth instead of cash, are a thing of antiquity, their patterns a mystery slowly fading in an old woman’s eyes. Young men can play 5,000 video games but cannot sharpen a pocket knife.’ He goes on to say, … ‘I listen for the past, but I cannot hear it… then I see my brother Mark in his garden, and know that not everything must fade away.’
I love this author. I know of ‘old dogs who watch from a cool place in the dirt listening for sounds of thunder in the distance.’ I love that he too believes there is, ‘magic in the singing of frogs and the stages of the moon that must be considered in addition to the science of the nature of soil and seed.’ I love that while making a distinction between himself and his brother by pointing out the things he doesn’t understand, but which his brother knows instinctively, he (Rick) reveals that he possesses a wisdom all his own; the value of which is too often discounted, even ignored in this day and age. Today as I was deciding what to toss and what to keep, I was reminded of what’s really important. I think it’s time to kick back with a glass of iced tea (sweet, of course) and listen to a little Tears for Fears.
Listen with me, won’t you?