The Precious Hills

He sits listening to
Appalachian Spring
and is transported
back in time to

the rolling hills of
Kentucky and his
former life with
his young kids

and his wife.
They were all
so young and
wondered

what they,
Yankees, were
doing in King
Kentucky’s

Court. But they
grew to love
the lakes and
the streams

and the forests
so green and
all that it seemed
and it seemed

so sweet. He
hears the horses
galloping and
he sees the

white fence
farms and rock
walls and Stephen
Foster’s old home

and he taps his
feet to the spiritual
beat of the gift so
simple and he

sees the Shakers
shaking in their
boots and dancing
up a religious storm.

The children are
grown and his wife
passed from eternity
to eternity. He just

saw his children and
and his stepson
and all their spouses
and all the grandchildren

from Chicago, Boulder
and Phoenix for a three-day
family reunion and he
and his wife spoke of how

every one of the children
and their spouses have
experienced the premature
death of a parent —

not one came through unscathed —
but they came through beautifully,
wonderfully, lovingly
and as the Suite

came to an end, he
choked back a tear
of sadness for losses but
gratitude and joy as he read

that today is Parents’
Day and, even though
it was probably fabricated
to sell cards and boost

the numbers at restaurants
around the country, he
and his wife couldn’t be
happier parents than

what they are this very
day as the mournful
horn signals the clouds
descending on the

mountains and the
dusk turning into night
and a good rest before
the sun comes up in

the East later than
other places because
it has to rise over those
verdant hills and, in

his mind’s eye, he
waits with patience
the surety of the
glory of the rising sun.

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