The ragged end of a mid-summer full moon, a new star somewhere tonight.  Another birthday, another sleepless night.  A fresh grave in a clearing back in the pinewoods, hard handed men accustomed to dungarees and work boots standing in well-worn suits, umbrellas raised as they lay to rest one of their own.  Survived by…grief so raw, flowers sermons obituaries, Amazing Grace skirling into gray skies, slow steady rain, God’s tears.

Better days, riding country roads in a pickup truck, stopping at Pop’s place to sit and visit. He goes into the garden shed, comes out with a little oak barrel, pours us each a dram of homemade moonshine whisky (usquebaugh, water of life)…and at that moment I begin to understand what Abraham might have felt taking wine with Melchizedek…truths beyond our ken, genuine culture expressed in the small courtesies and hospitality of country folk sharing what they have.

Below the surface, an older South agrarian and self-sufficient never fully came to terms with the Civil War or it’s aftermath. Nothing to do with flags, plantations, or cheap whiskey, real southern roots are in Saxon England, the Scottish Highlands, Ireland’s eternal struggle…Jefferson’s yeomen farmers, small freeholders carrying in their genes the painful memories of enclosure, transportation, indenture, the loss and humiliation of the Highland clearances.  Determined to be free, southern highlanders didn’t fight in defense of slavery, but for a higher form of liberty.  We hold these truths…

About michaellangford2012

Timber framer, boatbuilder, dreamer, writer, musician; collector of books, tools, aphorisms. "There is nothing, absolutely nothing…half so much worth doing…as simply messing about in boats."
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1 Response to Freedom

  1. Good sir, I too agree with these fine word’s.

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