A moment in the mountains with God

Randall Franks

I stood at the edge of the mountain and looked down at the green of the fields below. The fields were cut neatly into the shapes that the farmers had cultivated them in for years. The blue sky around me seemed to almost envelope me as I stood amongst the rocks and trees listening to the wind whipping the bark of a pine tree nearby creating a faint whistle. As I have walked my path since boyhood, I have always felt a special kinship almost in a sense, a tether always drawing me back to the mountains. It seems they are God’s gift to me to help rejuvenate my soul when it is beaten down by the waves of daily rhythm of rigor that each of us face. I travel a lot and often times if my choice is a fast, flat interstate or a curving road through the foothills of the Appalachians, I will choose the curving road. I was once told one thing that sets a person from the Appalachians a part from others is we are taught from birth the importance of the land and our connection to it; so much so, throughout our lives we know where we will rest through eternity. For our slumber will be found beside generations of our people who cultivated a place for life and for death in the shadow of the big trees and the mountain on which they grow. In today’s fast pace that seems to push us ever forward in a long list of tasks that never seem to end, I long for that moment of play in the creek. I look up from my attempts to catch tadpoles as the water flowing up from the spring cools my feet. On the porch I see my mother Pearl and my Aunt Norma Jean sitting on the porch swing slowly moving back and forth. My Grandma Kitty sits in a rocker fanning with a funeral home fan with the last supper upon its front, while my dad leans against the porch practicing for a game of mumbley-peg. As I stand there gazing at the moment long past in my mind, the call of a hawk pulls me back, back to the blue sky, the green fields below, the whistle of the wind in the pines. Though I wish to stay in that moment from long ago, it is that scene that propels me forward knowing that it was their desire that I build upon what they built and carry them with me where I go. No matter where I find myself, with the mountains within me, I have the fortitude to press on up until I reach the top, so I can look down at what lies ahead. I pray your path in life gives you the opportunity to reach the top of your mountain and refuel with the blessings of God’s gifts in your heart and soul.

Randall Franks, above, played Officer Randy Goode (1988–1993) Randy Goode begins his work on the series as a partner to Wilson Sweet in "The Creek"; he soon begins driving Chief Gillespie and Detective Tibbs around. Randall has stayed a good friend of The Courier for many years. The actor recently took a fall and is still recovering. We hope he continues to improve. Our thoughts and prayers are with him. —Jim Clark, publisher courierL@bellsouth.net

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