“I don’t need to go to church. I’m fine talking to God right here on my farm.”
That’s the usual response from grandpa each Sunday we ask him to go with us to church. He’s not a religious man, but he talks like he has an ongoing communication with God.
He drinks and smokes. When drunk, he’ll run to the field and holler like a madman. Then he’ll blame God for his arthritis and body pains. He would even challenge him to strike him on the spot. Once sober, he acts like he has completely forgotten everything he did and uttered.
A “mountain man,” he would usually take me to the woods in my toddler years. He had me wrapped in a make-shift baby carrier cloth and he’d carry me on his back. It’s for his convenience as he cuts woods for evening bonfires. On the way, he’d pick blueberries. Added with milk, it’s my usual meal when I’m on his watch.
Years passed and his grandchildren grew up. All moved to the cities for further education and better opportunities. Occasionally, we visit him. To his delight, he’d always take us to his farm and show how his crops were faring.
Parting times were always emotional to him. We’d always ask him to go with us, even just for a few days. He’d always decline. His reason? He’s a “mountain man” and he’ll never get the hang of living in the urban. He’s content with his small house and farm.
Even if it’s just for a day, he would not think of leaving the mountains. He said it’s his home.
His tenth-year death-anniversary is fast approaching. To honor his memory, I dedicate this song:
Lynda Randle in “God On the Mountain”
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