Gravel roads girdled the gentle hills of rural Licking County. I rode the bright yellow school bus that growled along them one fall afternoon. It was comfortably cool. The sun was going down the crisp blue, October sky. From my seat in the bus I watched the fields and forests pass. Wind stirred golden fields of corn drying for harvest. Bright sunlight glistened off blue farm ponds. Red and yellow Maples stirred up a love of and longing for beauty in me that has never been fully satisfied.
The bus rounded the top of the hill by the split rail fence on the Western edge of the farm and then geared down and stopped in the road across the spring run and up the hill from the house. The door opened and I stepped down and walked across the road and into the yard where my little brothers waited with a football. We played in the fallen Maple leaves until the sun touched the tops of the trees, the sky blushed toward dusk, and they called us in for supper. It was an ordinary autumn afternoon that, for some reason, was captured on the film of my mind and stored in the archive of my memory. I can play it again on demand.
I always wonder what moments will be burned onto the film of my children’s minds and stored in the archive of their memories. I pray they will be happy, healthy ones that tug them toward God and remind them of how much we love them. I find myself praying:
Merciful God; Help me guard my tongue, my time, and my temperament with my loved ones so the roots of their souls will grow down into the healthy soil of sweet memories. Without your help I know that my sinful flesh would destroy the people I love. Work in me God, and quickly, before the sun sets in autumn and all my memories are made. — Amen
Kenneth L. Pierpont
October 25, 2007