….as in that which does not change.
Every year or so, we take a lent free cloth and wipe it off, put on a few coats of paste wax and buff it out real good. Then what, get on with it!
Every fifty years or so we grease the fitting to keep em’ swinging freely. And then what, get on with it!
Every hundred years or so, whether it needs them or not, we change the strings. And then what, we get on with it!
Shelbi wrote me a letter describing when she was a girl visiting her grandfathers store at the forks of Troublesome Creek next to the bridge, and how it roared when flooded. And I recalled visiting my brother in Henry County as a boy, and how the creeks swelled after the rain. I’d played on these creek beds, surveying the large rocks from rain to rain; amazed at the distance the water would push them down stream. The small wooden bridge stood several feet off the creek that ran down the holler to the larger creek bed below. Now the raging water lapped at the timbers, I didn’t dare get too close fearing being swept downstream bridge and all! The water is flowing into the creek below now swollen; filling the creek bed three or feet deep and twenty feet wide. Flowing to the next creek and it into the Ohio, it into the Mississippi, and then lost to the Gulf.
I’m standing knee deep in the salt water lapping the sands beneath my feet. Small waves crash only disturbing the sands beneath, making my feet sink deeper as though in quick sand. This is the Gulf and I wonder from where it all comes. Once again I’m a small boy standing a safe distance from the little wooden bridge, scared of being swept away. Years and miles separate us.
Traditional, as in that which does not change.