We meet every July. For the past thirty five years we’ve met somewhere, somehow starting with the fourth Friday in the month of July. Since I was but sixteen we’ve gathered, prayed and played for a three day hotter than July weekend. My Granddaddy Old Man Jimmie D McCullough Sr. started this gathering of family folk and kin a year before his death. The year he started this gathering there were so many folks, many slept at The Boarding Home. You see back in the day, most every town boast of a home or two for boarders. And, Franklin Tennessee was no different. This roomy boarding house stood crocked yet still like a lady across the street from my Grand’s house. Sometimes we would sit on the perfumed porch watching the church folk come and go. Pretty and pink Four o’clock surrounded the porch, just as they do now.
We meet every July. But, this July was different. Being married and at a Family Reunion with your husband was really different. After the dinner and presentations, in the middle of extended family boardgames. I missed my husband and when I found him outside, he invited me for a walk. Take a walk with me he asked as we looked out beyond toward the big house. Come on lets go … he prompted his hand, extended, reaching for mine. We left all the board plus bingo games behind to unwind the hands of time. My feet were but sandal bare as we walked away without a care. Through acre and acre of summer grass did we talk and walk toward the big house we sought.
Green grass gave way to pee gravel and pee gravel led us to a cedar garden gate. Once it opened there was no escape of the beauty, but one soul could take. Our pace became like the hands of those who first tilled the ground below. Our breath we could barely catch as with each look beauty we met.