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Lost And Abandoned

–About Life, Love And Living

The early morning fog blanketed the barren field to slowly reveal the abandoned Church.  I walked carefully across the cotton field freshly picked with scattered cotton bulbs sticking to my boots.  In the distance the steeple uncloaked its magnificence, the plankboards appearing old and weathered.  The design was powerful and demanded reverence and quiet while gifting us with its comfort and grace.

I walked closer, ever forward toward the beautiful yet forgotten sanctuary.  The stained-glass windows long taken away perhaps to live in another holy place.  The windows were open, stark, sinister, yet inviting me to look within to see a fading beauty now only found in the relics of a forgotten glory.  The pews were still smooth to the touch from years of hands touching the deep wood in a weekly ritual.  The wood floor was solid making my steps echo loudly as I walked toward the carved pulpit hesitating to stand behind it and gazed at the empty pews.  A crow perched in the open window was my only congregation listening intently.

I held the pulpit with both hands and steadied my pounding heartbeat, taking a deep breath and closing my eyes.  Reluctantly the church revealed its stories as I listened.  The sound of people shuffling into the pews and soft voices whispering to neighbors, the ruffling of the choir members’ robes as they entered the choir loft.  A cough muffled, a child’s laughter and a quick shhh from the mother, and lastly, the pastor walking to the very pulpit I stood behind.  The choir stood and the piano keys sounded a melody of gospel notes and the words became singing and then silence.

The smell of old choir books hung heavy in the air, a musky scent, pine and oak tickled the senses with a pleasant reminder of the strong wood that kept the church standing.  Off in the distance, you could smell cotton wet in the fields from the morning mist.  A haunting smell of cologne and perfume enticed me and reminded me that long ago people wore their best clothing and sang their most soulful songs.  They laughed here, said goodbye to their loved ones and were married here hoping for a lifetime of love and lastly, they brought their children here.

I felt a sadness that the old church stood alone, forgotten, abandoned and left without hope, yet the church gave me a glance past the veil of time to a place where it still stands in its magnificence and breathtaking beauty.  With a feeling of forlorn, I looked back at the church still standing proud, still inspiring to those that stop and look.  It is a place I will not forget, and I hope to visit often.  Even now as I leave it calls out for me to return.  At the end of the road stood a sign.

Oak Grove Church Road

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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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7 CONVERSATIONS

  1. Great word picture Larry. I could feel the sense of awe as you stood behind the pulpit (reminded me of opportunities I’ve had at a pulpit and the awesome responsibility it represents)……made me want to join the congregation there! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Larry,, I am always.delighted to ress your articles.Your writing was so incredibly descriptive that you can not only hear the sounds you describe but you can actually see yourself sitting there. There is a word people like you which is TALENT! You are an immensely talented writer.

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