It wasn't long ago that a friend of mine - a West-coaster no less - got onto the subject of country music. Some he likes, some he doesn't, he said. Then, he laughed and recalled one that he had recently encountered.
You cannot be a writer without being a reader. It's a simple observation, but no wiser words have ever seen ink on paper. For writers are always drawn to and mesmerized by words. We drink up pretty syllables like drunks depend on cheap wine.
My brother-in-law, Rodney, is a farmer of the most admirable kind. He farms, despite the heartbreaks, hard times, hot sun and little pay, because he loves it. Not even the relentless stronghold of healthy kudzu could choke the passion for farming from him. He is devoted to the land and what it brings. Good or bad.
Whenever I or anyone else think of Daddy, it is his faith that defined him over and above all else. The man and his faith were inseparable. To know his faith, was to know him. To know him, was to come face-to-face with a bullet-proof faith.
If you haven't already read between the lines, that was her attempt to be subtle and encourage me to watch what I say. Of course, it was a waste of her sweet breath, but I pretended to pay attention and agreed with what she said.
I wondered the other day how a mother could even think that, let alone say it. But then Mama was a woman who defied exact definition. She was strong, smart, courageous, sometimes outrageous and above all, ruled by a faith that was simply unbendable and unquestionable. That part of her was definable and clear: She believed unyieldingly in an Almighty God who never left her side. Even when it could have seemed that He did.