A Fictional Memoir
…the time we have lived and mellowed, and that has been
hallowed by the presence of friends, or parents, or by great events,
is forever gone; this we keep only in memory…We can keep the
old – all except the old time. The old house, the old fields,
and, in a measure, the old friends; but the atmosphere that bathed
it all – the past days – these we cannot keep.
~ John Burroughs
Journal Entry April 14, 1886
In this rich soil we sow the
seeds of life.
~ Ulysses H. Thurmon
troubled. I had lost something, maybe not lost just misplaced. You know
like your car keys or sunglasses or your wallet. Deep inside you know
you haven’t really lost them for all time, you’ve simply
misplaced them. You can’t remember where you put them, ‘cause
they’re not where you usually leave them. So you set about trying
to bring back, relive all the places you’ve been and recreate
the last time you had whatever it was you lost.
Now, this can take a bit of doing. You’ve got to calm yourself
down a bit, ‘cause you’re probably on the wrong side of
aggravation, which ain’t gonna get you anywhere. Once you allow
yourself to do this you’ll find one small kernel if information
will creep into your head, and then another and another and before long
it hits you like a left hook on your blind side. You slap your forehead
and go find your keys or whatever it was you were looking for. They’d
fallen through a hole in the pocket of that jacket, you forgot you wore,
and slipped down and nestled themselves safe and sound deep in the lining.
That’s how it works; finding something you fear you have lost.
I got to thinking about when I was a kid, when life was fresh and new
and I got to recalling all kinds of stuff, so I started writing it all
down on little scraps of paper and on the back of envelopes, even talked
some of it into one of those little dictating tape recorders and it
was pretty much a mess. Then one day I up and run into this fella and
we became friends, you know how it is sometimes, you meet somebody and
hit it off instantly like you’ve known ‘em all your life
and yet you just met ‘em? Well that’s the way it was with
this fella. Turned out he was a writer, good at organizing and putting
stuff together and telling stories and best of all he was willing to
take a look at all the stuff I’d scribbled down. The result is
what you’re holdin’ in your hand, this book. He tells me
he couldn’t fit all the stories into this one, think he calls
it a trilogy or something like that, at any rate this is the first part
What I found out by going back to where I grew up, was that when I was
a kid I’d get up every day couldn’t wait to get up, hated
laying around in bed, had to get up and get out and play cowboys or
go hiking or exploring or something. I remembered I greeted every day
Somehow we lose that as we get older. First we lose our innocence and
then we get nervous and insecure and begin to feel we know everything.
That’s the dangerous point, ‘cause that’s when we
lose our enthusiasm. The moment that happens we begin to die. We might
be walkin’ around and laughin’ and talkin’ and doing
all sorts of things, but we’ve begun to die. Before you know it
we’re looking at life as time lost instead of life gained.
When I was a kid I figured I had all the time in the world, but when
you grow up you start thinking about time running out and you get foolish
and start chasing it, grabbing onto all the stuff you can think of that
will fulfill you, that’ll make you feel you’re more than
you are, but it doesn’t.
When I was a kid, the place I came from gave me a glimpse at why the
simplicity of living life fully and honestly, finding joy and approaching
each new day with innocence and enthusiasm, why placing value on time
and life gained not lost, is a blessing that is renewed every day, with
every breath we take. Going back I discovered it wasn’t lost,
I’d just misplaced it.
Oh, I get troubled now and again, but life is pretty amazing when you
realize each day’s a new day. At any rate these are the stories.
Hope you like them.
~ David C. Lang
Tales From Thurmons Corners has been published and is
available For Sale on Amazon. Click Here to visit the Amazom Page.
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