The story of Tulee Main takes place in the warmth of late Spring – early Summer. By August, the tale is done and Tyson County is ready to rest.

Today’s entry is far  -  far removed from the heat of Summer as you can see.

Picture of early snowfall

Morning Snow

The scene above was waiting for me a couple of years ago the morning after the first snowfall of the season had passed through in the dark of night. We don’t often think of this kind of picture in the South, yet here it is. This spot, right across the street from my porch is as much Tyson County and the South as any other place.

On the record, this is Johnson County, Tennessee. More exactly, it’s on the edge of Mountain City. But this is the far northeast corner of Upper East Tennessee, a location which readers of Tulee will recognize as the fictional Tyson County of the story.

I guess I was thinking of change when I set about writing this post. It’s that ‘change time’ of year:
- -  the change of one year to another,
- -  the unarguable change of weather after a couple of months of meteorological waffling: warm one day, cold the next, sunny then blustery, ‘looks like a warm Winter’ then ‘looks like we’re really gonna get it this year’,
- -  the change of the year now passing as we look back on it.

So I decided to write about ‘change’.

But as I write about these changes, it occurs to me that there is also an unchanging nature to what I see. It’s reflected both here on the quiet street and in the story.

The snow in this photo will drop from the branches, fence and little shed as the sun comes up later. More snow will come, but that, too, will go. The cold and darkness of this season will pass, almost quickly, into the warmth of another Tyson County Spring. (The days – hard as it seems to imagine – are already getting longer even as the cold and snow deepens here in the mountains.)

In the end, not that much will have changed.

Those brilliant leaves that have hung on so long – and will keep hanging on until the new leaves push them off in the Spring – will ultimately fall and join their companions from earlier years. They’ll be replaced just as they replaced last year’s crop and the Summer winds will blow through the new growth.

In the end, not that much will have changed.

Those beautiful, long-lasting, almost stubborn leaves remind me of Walt and Tulee Main in Tyson County and of their passing. They remind me of the passing of those I’ve known here in Johnson County who have gone ‘across the road’ from Pleasant Grove Baptist to the quietness of the small cemetery.

Almost without exception, they were good people, sturdy, honest God-fearing people that welcomed me here to their world and shared whatever they had.

They’re gone and I miss them; but in their place are their sons, daughters, grandchildren and younger neighbors. The ‘youngster’ are, for the most part, very able replacements for the generation before them and will live their lives with pretty much the same values. There is a constancy in these mountains and among this people that allows for both change and continuing tradition.

In the end, not that much will have changed.

Change comes and change goes. Sometimes it’s almost unnoticed, sometimes it’s overwhelming. In this world, change is life itself. Yet there is an unchanging side to it as well.

We (well, some of us) have just finished celebrating the birth of a child which took place a couple of thousand years ago and many thousands of miles away. Some things at this year’s celebration aren’t the same as last year’s – they’ve changed. Some who were here with us last year aren’t here this year. It’s changed. It will keep changing.

But the birth of Jesus Christ – and his subsequent sacrifice – aren’t part of this changing world. That’s an event and gift that makes the changes of this world seem petty as we consider the gift of peace and well-being in an eternity to come. Sure, a lot of things will happen – good, bad and indifferent but we know that, because of this gift, they all will ultimately fade.

In the end, not that much will have changed.

Comment at will.


(This post is intended to complement the narrative and views expressed in “The Passing of Tulee Main”. To learn more about the book, press the ‘Main Site Home Page’  link at the top of this post. (Beyond the on-site material there, the Nook, Kindle and Amazon links have sample chapters available to view.)


About Peter

Author of 'The Passing of Tulee Main'. Formerly active in retail, service and manufacturing industries. Now enjoying the beautiful Tennessee country side of Tulee's Tyson County home and writing.
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