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Legend Has It That … (Part 3)

I often wonder why these four short words always sounded sinister to me.  When my sister told us these kinds of stories she would set the mood.  We would put blankets on the floor and light candles.  She would get us to sit still and listen to the silence.  She would wait until she was sure that we were listening and start with a quiet almost whispering sinister voice, “Legend has it that …”.  These stories usually took us down a scary path where fearful things happen.  They usually involved darkness, old deserted houses, and lonely old people.  She would take us on a journey that involved facing our fears and in the end finding our courage.

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Facing Your Fears, Part Three

There were four frightening events that happened in my life when I was very young.  They forever changed the way I lived my life going forward.  Like the legends of old the stories’ outcomes are about facing fear and finding the way to walk life’s path with courage and confidence.  I call these stories The Four Faces of Fear.  This is part three of my journey beyond fear.

Legend has it that In a distant land it was said that the people could be cruel and it was not safe there to be different.

The fear in my heart was like standing on the edge of the abyss and feeling the wind tearing at your clothing, the darkness, black like a night without the moon or the stars.  I faced a great unknown without even a glimpse or idea as to what may be there.

Daddy had told me at breakfast that we had to leave the farm and move to Myrtle Beach.  I had spent most of my childhood here on the farm.  I knew the forest, the fields, all the smells and sounds of my world.  I knew what was safe and what was harmful.  I knew what I could trust and what not to trust.  Could it really be true that we were leaving our home and friends?

Mom and Dad were loading everything we owned onto a big truck that his new job had given him to move us with.  The hardest part was leaving my dog with my cousins because Daddy said she was a country dog and would not be happy in the city.  She had been my faithful companion on all my adventures.  Now I had to go on my greatest adventure without her.

The fear I felt was a living thing.  Daddy was upset because I wasn’t excited.  Mom was upset because I had upset Daddy.  My sister had been staying at the beach working in the summer to help make ends meet.  Her excitement, of course, came from being a teenager living and working on her own. At six I was too young to get excited about leaving my world behind.  All I knew was that I had stepped into that dark abyss.

We got moved into our new home and it was the first time in my life that I had seen an air conditioner.  We had a fenced yard that I immediately turned it into a fort and Daddy had built me a tree house and it had a tire swing.  So maybe it would be okay here.  Daddy had gotten me a new bike to ride to school.

The next day I proudly rode my bike to school and parked it at the bike stand.  I saw lots of kids playing and even though I was very uncertain I walked over to the boys playing baseball.  I was pretty good at that so I thought I could play and make friends.  As I walked over they all started laughing and calling me farmer brown, and country hick.  They pounced on me without mercy throwing me to the ground.  I could taste the dirt as they smashed my face into the sand.  I fought for a while getting a few good licks in.  I was not a stranger to a fight, but I was vastly outnumbered and it seemed funny to everyone but me.  Finally, I gave in to the beating and just let my mind drift away from the pain and hurt.  After a while they got bored.  I had worn overalls, work boots, and a clean white shirt.  They had torn the straps off my overalls, threw my boots into a dumpster and my new white shirt was red with my blood.

They left me there on the ground as the bell rang for class. They were still laughing and making farmer jokes.  I was so afraid that my Dad would be mad that I took a beating.  Finally, I got up and went to my bike and rode home in total shame, a defeat.  Daddy was getting ready for work when I got there and looked at me with concern.  He took a deep breath and said what happened.  I just sat there in silence looking at the floor.

Daddy took me into town and bought me a regular pair of blue jeans, a pair of PF Flyer sneakers and a new button-down collar shirt.  As we rode back to school Daddy was quiet.  I sat outside the principal’s office while daddy went in to talk.  As Daddy left he said to me “son, I am proud of you.  You met them boys head on and you never ran.”  He smiled and said go back on that baseball field at recess and face them boys again.  Daddy had also bought me a new bat, a glove and baseball hat.  I walked out on that field at recess and everyone wanted to see my glove and bat.  I told one of the boys that I could play or I could fight, makes no difference to me.  He looked at me for a long while and then said you can play on my team.

Point Of View

It was a year of new things.  I had to learn where I fit and how to fit.  I learned that life was not as simple as living on the farm, but I faced my fear and earned the respect and friendship of a lot of new friends, friends that are still friends to this day.  I also discovered the sea and the marshes and the many adventures they held.  I grew a little that day maybe more than a six-year-old should have to grow.

Fear is a crippling feeling.  It is a feeling that we must face if only to conquer it.  That day freed me up to live my life and to walk on that playground knowing that I could walk without fear.  I started another part of my journey that day.  I swore that I would always be strong, be fearless and be a dragon slayer.  I also knew that I would never stand by and let anyone hurt someone because of how they looked or where they came from.  Over the years I have had many opportunities to stand by a friend when they needed me.

Lastly, when I got home from school that day Daddy had a new puppy waiting for me.

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Larry Tyler
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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10 CONVERSATIONS

  1. Fear can be positive up to a certain level, it should be accepted even because it teaches us the sense of limit, It is part of us, activates us, makes us to be ready to react to what happens to us. And it is essential to push us to have courage and take action.
    I believe that we can arrive to say that without fear there is no success in many circumstances!
    And I would also add that thefaith can become decisive in a difficult world, where fear seems to block every hope. All of us are afraid. And, sometimes, a generic call to courage does not overcome the culture of fear. It is necessary to start from the faith, which leads beyond the borders of prohibitions, dread and intimidation. Faith makes hope for the impossible.

  2. “Legend has it”, “Once upon a time”, and “This is a true story” are excellent at clicking that red record button in our brains. If you want someone to remember what you’re telling them, these phrases work extremely well — especially when you deliver as the traditional storytelling caricature. It’s good for a laugh too.

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