Hold on to the traditions that bind us together

Published 6:39 pm Friday, January 5, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Traditions are the fiber that holds us together as families, friends, communities and as a country.

Without traditions, we weaken and fall away and apart. There is a sadness when we forego our traditions.

My granddaddy would often say that the world had left him behind. I didn’t understand then what he meant. Now, I understand all too well.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Growing up, my life was traditional in so many ways. We played with rubber baseballs and “tubed” on the inners of a tractor tire. We read funny books, jumped hot peas, chewed blow gum and went out to dinner at Wilson’s Barbecue.

Simple ways of life? Traditional? Perhaps.

But for sure, going to church was a family tradition, a community tradition.

“Everybody goes to church,” Mama would say as she forced me into my Sunday dress with a switch at “home” on top of the Frigidaire.

But, there was just something about being in church that was comfortable, like being safe and secure at home.

Throughout my life, I have found places in the heart – the kitchen table, the porch swing, lighting bugs in the trees – a thousand things – but among the ones that stand clear, are the old church hymns that we sang “by heart” and story of the Baby Jesus and how His birth cry was heard all over the world, and not just by people but by all the animals as they all welcomed Him with their special sounds.

Two traditions that I missed so much this Christmas season were the Singing at the Old Country Church at Hamilton Crossroads on the Sunday before Thanksgiving and Old Christmas at Clay Hill on January 6.

Mama said I couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket but I wish she could have heard me singing by heart at the Old Country Church that was filled with joyful noise

I remember, so well, the soft mooing of the cows as I waited for them to kneel at midnight on Old Christmas night and welcome the arrival of the Baby Jesus with their special sounds.

And, there’s just something very special about Old Christmas at Clay Hill – the reading of the Christmas Story from the King James Bible, the flickering of the lamplights and the hint of cedar. I miss the chilliness of the old country church and the hardness of the aging pews – of the sounds of acoustic instruments, the lighting of the candles of peace and the singing of “Go, Tell It on the Mountain” as the church quietly empties to face the New Year with hope and promise.

It is my hope for the Year 2024 that we, here in Pike County, have the resolve to hold on to the traditions that bind us as families, friends and communities.

Happy New Year and Blessings Throughout.