Triumph

The orange leaves triumph
for but a time;
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then fall to the ground
to be raked, bagged,
wind blown, composted —
changed.
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the tree triumphs
for but a time
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then falls to the ground
to be chopped, burned, planed,
firewood, timber, boards —
changed.
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men, women, you, me,
we triumph for but a time;
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then we fall to the ground,
the way of all life;
ashes to ashes,
dust to dust…
to be mourned, buried,
cremated, interred —
changed…

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but that is not the end.

For God
Triumphs
For all time.

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He rescues us
From dust
and calls us
To live
In Triumph
With Him
Forever.

Landscape

Thomas Wolfe wrote You Can’t Go Home Again, and the title has become an often-quoted phrase about change and memory.

Sheep farm on Ruff Creek Hill

sheep farm on Ruff Creek Hill

Yet here I am. Back home in These High Green Hills. Living within two miles of my childhood home. Living on what used to be my grandfather’s orchard.

Sunrise from my bedroom

sunrise from my bedroom

Sometimes a bit like being A Stranger in a Strange Land, but more often it is like being a stranger in a familiar land. Older and wiser, I see the familiar with new eyes — The Return of the Native…

The road home...

journey home…

New eyes that appreciate the beauty of the hills, streams, and roads of rural Appalachia.

these high greene hills

these high greene hills

New eyes that appreciate the need for economic development, but worry that it will spoil the ecosystems, the water, the landscape.

the cows' field, disturbed

the cows’ field, disturbed

New eyes that see God’s mercy on my life and the blessings of coming home again.

 

 

Landscapes? Yep, I got ’em! About 500 on my phone alone! The top three were taken today; the others are from a greener season …

Architecture

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When we were seventeen,
We carved our initials
on the inside of this bridge.

Desecrating public property,
Yes. I know.

Thirty some years later
we drove down that same road
to see if we could find the bridge,
the carved initials.

The bridge was there
spanning the little creek.
Newer initials had replaced ours.
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Older and wiser,
we no longer needed
to carve our initials
for posterity,
But were happy
with the remembering.

Last year they tore it down.
Carefully.
Every board numbered.
It took almost eight months,
but now it stands again.
Rebuilt. Repainted. Restored.
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Cox Farm Bridge. Built 1940. Rebuilt 2013.

I’m grateful for memories, for stories, and for those who care enough about covered bridges to make them historical landmarks.