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Church Bells Ringing

–The Dirt Road Chronicles: Shreveport:

It was mid-October 2021, and the evening air had a chill to it, a warning that it would get colder as the night grew darker.  The train no longer came this far out from Shreveport, so I followed the rusty tracks.  The old dirt road was overgrown and made for some hard walking,  deep thinking, and a mind full of memories.  I had about an hour walk and already the owls were tracking my journey and a bat swept down to see who this stranger was.  The Red River was just a few miles north of here and I could hear the barges pushing their load upriver, a sad lonesome sound.

1970

I first walked this road in late Autumn of 1970.  The crops were in, but I was not ready to go back to South Carolina.  My mother was already upset with my journey through the southern farm belt.  For me, it was an awakening, and I grew a lot that summer in my knowledge of life.  That night so long ago was also cold and the road even darker.  I remember church bells ringing in the distance calling me to come nearer, to find comfort and warmth.

As I walked around a bend, I could see the church all lit up and the choir singing like angels.  I could hear a piano, the player danced over the keys with a mix of gospel and blues.  He sang How Great Thou Are in a voice deep, filled with both joy and pain.  I felt a hurting that begged to be healed and I walked up those stairs, smiled at the Deacon and took a seat in the back.  I never heard the pastor’s sermon, only the sound coming from those keys, a sound both haunting and healing.

I knew I wanted to be here, this safe haven down a long dirt road.  It was a place that the lost went to, a warm fire from the potbellied stove and music that reaches in and touches your soul.  The piano player walked up to me after the service and asked me if I was lost or maybe a runaway.  I told him I was on a journey to find a way of being that would be my life.  The old man spoke quietly, “son come and stay here a while and hear the church bells calling you.”  He took me to a back room saying this is where the wayfarers stay and prepare you for the next journey,

2021

Just as it was fifty-one years ago I could hear the church bells ringing just down the road, and I knew that if you can write you can go back again.

Coming soon chapter two of Church Bells Ringing titled The Carpenter

Larry Tyler
Awaken the possibilities … then unleash them. After 55 years of successful retail management, I have returned to my passion of writing. I write Poetry, Storytelling, and Short Stories. As a child, I grew up on front porch storytelling. I would sit and listen to my Dad and his brothers tell these great stories that were captivating, and I always wanted to hear more. I wanted to experience the things they talked about. I started writing at a young age and reading everything I could get my hands on. At twelve years old I started a storytelling group and several of my friends became writers or poets. At 16 I hopped box cars and worked the tobacco fields, orange groves, picked cotton, and spent many nights around a campfire listing to life stories. Someone once asked me why I wrote. It consumes an amazing amount of time and I assure you it is not going to make me rich. I write so that my children can touch and feel my words telling of the ones that came before us and the stories they told me. These are the chronicles of our family and even though they come from my childhood memories and are deeply rooted in a child’s remembrance at least they may feel what it was like in the time before them and cherish the things the elders left behind. I am a Columnist & Featured Contributor, BIZCATALYST360 and I have The Writers Café, a group on LinkedIn that features Poets, Writers, Artists, Photographers, and Musicians . On Facebook I have two groups and one page; Dirt Road Storytelling, From Abandoned To Rescue Dogs And Cats, and About Life, Love And Living. As writers, it is true that we honestly do not know what we hold within us until we unleash it. When our words inspire others only then will inspiration return to the writer. I will spend my twilight years in search of the next story, the next poem, and the next image. I will take the time to enjoy my Wife, our Dogs, and Cats, and our amazing new home and I will always find the time to walk down a dirt road I truly hope is that I never have to read another book on Leadership, be on a conference call or see another plan o gram as these were the tool for what I did in life and not about who I am.

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