Appalachia Through My Eyes - It's Prom Season In Appalachia
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Until Our Footsteps Fall Here Again

Today's guest post was written by Jimmy Gentry.

Spring grass on Pine Log


Until Our Footsteps Fall Here Again written by Jimmy Gentry

Stars shine through bare limbs, but on this night, the moon takes center stage. Across the ridge, the light at the horizon hints at other worlds and other souls turning into the western sky. My brother and I stand bathed in immaculate moonlight, created long ago on the Fourth day, with only the twisted branches to break the wash of light. Overhead, the unfathomable vastness of the universe stretches out farther than the human mind can adequately grasp, and though we wonder at what may lie beyond the dim lights, there is no other place we would want to be than here where He planted us.

Over two more ridges and across the gully lies burgeoning Pine Log Creek, giver of life and witness to untold histories. In the distant past, our ancestors hunted and lived here, drank of its water and slept to the gurgle of its eddies. Even now, there is something within us that is drawn to the water and its silky, primal smell. My brother gazes upon Pine Log as if he is assessing it's condition, like a care giver fretting over a patient, but it is we who are the patients here, and Pine Log is the healer. One day Pine Log will lose us, and grieve for us. It's trees will weep their golden leaves in the autumn of our lives, and the fire dotted sky will cry mournful tears in our desolate winter, for as much as we have loved this place, it has loved us more. It has freely given to sustain our native forefathers so that we, their progeny, could walk it's ridges and meadows, under the pale light of an ancient moon that smiles adoringly down on this present joy.

At last we turn away from Pine Log, and leave it to yearn for us. Other distractions call us, duties await us, and though only displaced leaves will show that our feet trod here tonight, Pine Log remains, resting in peaceful anticipation through the long years to come. Other steps will fall here, when all of us has passed away. Many will fall under its spell, and Pine Log will suffer a broken heart again and again, but it will go on, until the appointed time that it's Maker returns us to its banks again.


I hope you enjoyed Jimmy's post as much as I did! I'm thankful I have a place that is as meaningful to me as Pine Log Creek is to Jimmy and his brother. Is there a place that stirs your emotions in a special way?


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It is a beautiful place and I always love to read the words my uncle Jimmy and father write when they return from their hikes

Jimmy GENTRY IS ONE OF THOSE WRITERS THAT ALLOWS INSPIRATION TO FLOW THROUGH HIM AND BECAUSE OF THAT IS ABLE TO MAKE THE READER FEEL WHAT HE FEELS.I have enjoyed growing up with him and hiking,musing,and looking for and receiving comfort through the father,s creation on pine log and other trails through the years.Down through the days of the leaves.The days of blooming wonder.Thankful for a great brother.

I truly enjoyed Jimmy Gentry story so much. He is a great writer.

I sure did enjoy Jimmy Gentry well written in depth story of his beloved Pine log. I wish I could write so elegant as he does about my specials places.Thank Jimmy Gentry and I love Miss Cindy's comment about how the earth waits watching in unchanging silence.I have so many family member buried in Pine Log soil of times past. We had a family reunion and decoration dinner on the ground, than a flash rains or cloud burst came so fast and rained hard and ruined everyone dinner.My precious Mother -in -law went to her big pan of biscuits and squeeze the water out of them and grinned ;we all had a good laugh, so many memories of Pine Log.

Tipper, what a grand story. We had a family reunion and decoration at the Pine Log cementary , the Swanson and sherlin families bought dinner and spread it with friends and relative. A cloud burst came from seemly know where and rain so hard on everyone dinner, my precious Mother-in-law Hattie Swanson went to her big pan of homemade biscuits and squeezed the water out and we had such a good laugh.

Thank you, Mr. Gentry! Your post reminds me of my favorite quote-"Nothing lives long, only the earth and the mountains."

Really enjoyed the post. Nothing better than walking along a woodland creek. Sounds and sights are fascinating.

I enjoyed the heart-felt poem. You can
tell how the land we call home yearns
for us. Wouldn't take nothing for the
holler I grew up in. Thanks Jimmy for
reminding us of how close-by home
really is...Ken

Reading that made me think of a placed called Factory Hollow, long ago and 'WAY up north, where Honeoye (HON-ee-OY) creek flows, where us young'uns fished, swam, ice skated, and where I visited with the old Polish Hermit in the summer. I would have been between 11-14 at the time and I freely admint that yes, the good ol' days were better...

I loved it! I can identify with it.

Evocative post, I felt like I was there, could feel the night and the land. Thank you, Jimmy Gentry, and of course, Tipper, for sharing this.

and Jimmy what a beautiful memory of, I assume, your old home place. With those thoughts tucked away in your memory bank, you will be able to visit there often in your dreams or present place, as will others. Thanks Jimmy for writing your memories of this particular time in your life. We all, if we could, should express how we feel about our homes, places and times in our lives.

Yes Tipper, I have many meaningful emotional memories of places and homeplaces I have visited and lived. A person should note those in a diary/journal how they feel about them. Places change, people change, people leave this earth. Maybe some future someone would read the noted journal of the past and make sure the place that is today, will envoke wonderful memories for them and others in their future.
Thanks Tipper for posting and Jimmy for your well written thoughts...I now want to walk there in that glen and over the hill to Pine Log Creek!

The photo stirred a peaceful piece of Mother Nature's beauty. The words just make me wonder where I could find such peace. I have a small piece of NC that when I walk it with all the landscaping work I have accomplished, I surely enjoy the peace and joy that area brings to me.

Yes! "The Land of 'Home-Again' "
Yes! "Th Land of Home-Again"

Far away birds fly toward the forest's quiet vales,
And above the fields the mountains rise in blue crests.
Choestoe Creek runs over shoals, murmurs and hails
The leaves that drop quietly by hidden nests
That rest on limbs outstretched above the stream.
This place is real, a paradise, not some wild dream.
Go with me there, to the land of home again,
Where we will quietly and slowly regain
Perspective for the years that yet remain.
-Ethelene Dyer Jones (written April 28, 2008)
This poem I wrote when I was longing to "be home again" in the hills and valleys of Choestoe. Each of us should have a place that brings chords of beauty and belonging, "The Place of Home Again." I loved Jimmy Gentry's essay today; it reminded me of "my own" homeplace, Choestoe. In our too-mobile society, so many in today's culture do not know these roots, the people who provided the strong pull to "home again" nor the beauty, peace and love for a place.

How beautiful

It's beautiful! Thank you, Jimmy! Your writing fully expresses that we come and go and the earth waits, watches in unchanging silence.

Had me yearning for Pine Log Creek and I've not been there. Beautiful.

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