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Monday, September 6, 2010

Closing Chapters

Last evening my brother and I visited using Skype.  He had returned to Florida from a trip to Georgia where he and Linda are hoping to firm up a contract for a house this Wednesday.  I viewed pictures of the house and it has beautiful dormer windows and high ceilings in the rooms.  But when I heard they planned to sell their home in Orange Park, Florida, I felt a little sad—not for them of course, but for me.  I could hear a chapter of my life slamming shut.  They have lived in their Orange Park home for seventeen years, and I have memories of visiting there with family and friends.  It’s a large two story frame house with a swing on the porch, with spacious yard all around and has served as a reliable gathering place in my mind.  The memory takes me back to when mother was still living.  I have memories of nieces and nephews propelling their children on a cabled ride spanning a sloping distance between two trees; and swims in a pool hidden away in back fed by an artesian well.  With this close of a life’s chapter, I feel a little older as I think of these experiences in the past when I was younger, when everyone was younger.  It is a great folly to think I can stop time by stopping change—as if I could stop either one.  I have always sought to find a home and put down roots.  I get a sense of security from that, no matter how insubstantial it may be in the end.  After the Civil War the South held its breath for nearly a hundred years hoping that nothing would fundamentally change.  To allow change would be to admit defeat.  But change did come in my lifetime and averted a terrible dead end of racial hatred.  When I consider this, I am grateful for change and acknowledge its necessity and usefulness.

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