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The Tattered Curtain

It was a breezy April morning with a chill still in the air.  I had driven up for a visit to the old farmhouse where I grew up.  It is quiet here now, almost like time has passed this place by.  I remember the farm as being an active place this time of year.  The fields would have been plowed and the planting would have already started.  Mom would have been in the kitchen filling the house with the amazing smells of hot biscuits and ham cooking, a fresh pie cooling on the windowsill.

It is not like that today.  The quiet is almost unearthly like I am the last person on earth.  I see the torn curtains flapping in the breeze.  It seems odd that after so many years there would still be curtains on the window.  I often remember the curtains blowing with the breeze.  We always kept the windows open to cool the heat from the house.  I loved looking out the window each morning and listening to all the sights and sounds of the new day.  The tattered curtain reminds me that time had passed and all that remains are the memories and tattered curtains.

I have always cherished the way I grew up.  I feel that I have never truly felt at home in the hustle and bustle of the city.  There are few places to find the tranquility I so loved growing up.

The window has always held mystery for me.  Its view told us many important things, what the weather was, seeing new flowers bloom each day or the dreary gray days of winter.  It was a select view of our little part of the universe.  To me, the farm seemed vast and everything seemed to be tuned to the cycles of the seasons.  We could tell the weather by the way the air smelled, the time of day by seeing where the sun was in the sky and the seasons by where the sun rose and set.  We knew when to plant as well as when to harvests the crops and even knew when the geese and ducks would come to winter and lay their eggs.  It was always a sad time when they brought the babies to our front yard to say a final goodbye before heading north.  We knew it was time to cut wood and put the hay in the barn when the cardinals, bluebirds and Baltimore Orioles showed up.

It was an unhurried time in my life, the world I lived in was vast and unspoiled.   Sitting down for our meals and talking about our day, realizing everyone had something important to say.  Daddy was always teaching me the ways of the farm and our connection to nature.  Not a day went by that I didn’t learn something useful.  I can always close my eyes and always feel the calm silent vastness of the farm.  It will always be a powerful guide to how I live my life and teach my children and their children.  If I listen closely I can always hear the tattered curtain flapping in the breeze calling me home.  The tattered curtain reminds me that time has passed and all that remains are the memories and tattered curtains.

Point Of View

I have always cherished the way I grew up.  I feel that I have never truly felt at home in the hustle and bustle of the city.  There are few places to find the tranquility I so loved growing up.  We watch the weather channel to see if it is raining.  We know the seasons by what clothing is in the store windows and if the garden center is open.  There seems to be little mystery or magic in the world we live in.  To be honest I have found success, happiness, and ways to give back to my community.  It is fulfilling and rewarding what I do in life yet I long for the days I would reach down and hold the dirt in my hand and know it was good soil and things would grow well in it. Maybe one day I will go back and replace the tattered curtains and put new panes in the window, perhaps even a fresh coat of paint.

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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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14 CONVERSATIONS

  1. Thanks for this, Larry. I grew up in a small town where the pace of life was unhurried, then went to the big city where the pace of life was light speed. I always longed to get back to that original world, so four years ago we packed up and did just that. I didn’t grow up on a farm but was surrounded by them as I am now. We go there all the time just for the sheer joy of being there. That’s what your story brought out in me.

  2. Larry, some years ago, I drove back to the neighborhood in which I grew up in Meriden, Connecticut. I was struck by two things: (1) It was precisely as I remembered it. (2) It appeared to exist in miniature. Since I felt like Gulliver, I wondered if the people who now live there perceived my car as being absurdly outsized. (It wasn’t.) I didn’t feel nostalgic. Rather, I felt as if I belonged there, as if I owned it, even as I realized no one who lives there now would have the vaguest idea who I was or why I felt that way.

    Time is a strange thing. And life is full of wonders.

    Thank you for sharing your wonderfully evocative story.

  3. Larry, this was a very nostalgic piece of writing, and I can truly relate. I grew up in New Hampshire and my mom still lives in the old wooden house. It is a cold house, but so many memories etched into the wood floors. It will always be my home, even after my mom leaves this world, that will always be a sacred place in my heart. I live in Florida now, and am trying to raise my son to have a special place that he will also remember. It is important to keep these memories alive, it is who we are, where we came from, what we learned. Thank you for sharing this, it brings me back down to where I need to be…

  4. Larry – The days past are held dear by folks of generation because of the simplicity with which we lived it. The hub was family – our purpose was to contribute to the welfare of the family – our character and personality was shaped by the family. I miss that but your story took me back. Thanks.

  5. It seems to do us good the air, the smells and the smells of the earth that has generated us. You save yourself if you search, find yourself, and then you cling to something strong that still lives inside.
    The journey leads us to discovery, leaving us away from what we are and live, but we always leave to return. It is part of human nature the need to move away from one’s home, to explore the world to seek out and far what we cannot find within ourselves and around us. The drive towards research and the discovery of a world far from its own enclosure has in man the same intensity, equal and opposite, to the need to return home, to return to its roots.
    One returns to his roots to face himself so that, although he tries to escape, the call of the blood is always stronger.

  6. I’m surprised that you waited so long to get back to the earth you love so much. I’m glad you’re moving back to a place where your soul has always belonged and where you can immerse yourself in the childhood that you love so deeply.

  7. An amazing travel back in time where all the undesirable and undeserved vagaries of nature dare not touch us, in the innocent childhood! Larry, my dear friend, your gift of the precious art that empowers you to hive words to emotions is seriously second to none.

    I thank Dear Lord each day, for introducing me to you so we could call each other friends.

    God Bless!

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