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Not until I’ve moved on in years have I seen the binding up of place, roots, and home.

Not until I’ve planted many friendships, yet seen a few wither despite all my watering, have I known the flowering of living.

Not until I’ve slept many a peaceful night, yet been tossed awake in stormy times, when lightning layered the downstream vastness with thunder rolling like a freight train—only then have I understood the flow of humanity.

These thoughts occur to me in another August of my mortal being, moments of hot nights and quickly warming mornings—time to pace myself, I say. Oh, yes, I’m grateful to be alive, when another fiery sun bursts upon one more summer day. But I do not complain. I choose to believe it’s nature’s way of confirming better possibilities. Rev. Peale’s Power of Positive Thinking, I reckon, should not be sniffed at as simplistic moralizing by a Neanderthal writing before the wizardly age of televised sex, violence, and other shameless ham acting.

So, I ask myself, what is the most positive thing I could be doing? What are all the negatives I ought to be forgetting? How can I motivate myself to trust the sixth sense of all my ambling, often fumbling, comings and goings?

I look inward toward the center, the core of my belief, then outward through the window of my need to understand and to be understood. One without the other doesn’t seem to work very well, fulfillment residing in shared ideas.

August is only one month out of the year, and every 30 days is a bracket of 24 hours with every minute enclosing 60 seconds, all adding up to a resounding NOW. Yesterday is past. Tomorrow is waiting in the wings of Shakespeare’s stage upon which we all, each precious one of us, are merely players with our unperfected exits and our unforecast entrances.

Best to let Grandfather’s clock go unwound, and may there be an unstriking of the hourly gongs.

Best to cover the faces of wristwatches with little pieces of paper upon which to inscribe a thundering word—NOW.

Now the time to resolve differences. Now the time to be ready for change. Now the time to journal the moment-by-moment record of voices returning through the windows of our outreaching.

Here’s part of a message from another mortal until now only a stranger with his own part to play. I, sitting peacefully in repose, listen carefully to this new friendship of summer to be savored when leaves begin to fall and snow and ice replace mellow rain.

From Clinton Malear of Poosey Ridge in Madison County:

“I grew up on Poosey Ridge, Kentucky. I had a wonderful childhood growing up on a small tobacco farm. My parents lived in Berea, and I went to school at Kirksville. My aunt was a cook there and my uncle was a bus driver. I was an only child, my aunt’s kids were gone from home when I came along. So I went to her house one or two nights every week.

“And then summer would come and I would stay with my aunt and uncle most of the summer. Also, my grandmother and another aunt lived across the road from my aunt and uncle. So, needless to say, I have many, many wonderful memories growing up on Poosey Ridge, Kentucky.

“I also have memories about growing up in Berea. My dad ran a gas station in Berea for 28 years with many, many memories. What a wonderful blessing I have had growing up in Kentucky. I know Kentucky is a state, but the people are the real state.

“A fellow Kentuckian from Poosey Ridge—Clinton Malear.”

Thank you, Mr. Malear. Or may I call you Clinton? You may call me David. When our final curtain falls, we can say we played our parts as well as we knew how.

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