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March brings warmth to the end of winter

A round full moon hangs suspended in the clear nighttime sky. Its silver rays, unchanged since the beginning of time, shine down upon a weary earth. We have always been fascinated by the moon. Babies cry for it, lovers' spoon under it and poets write lyrics to it.

The early American Indians marked the months by the full moon, naming each one by the seasons. The month of March was called the Full Worm Month, as the temperatures began to rise and warm the frozen ground. The earthworm casts appear, heralding the return of the robins.

 Different Indian tribes had different names for the full moon. The northern tribes called the full moon in March the Full Crow Moon, because the cawing of the crows signaled the end of winter. It was also called the Full Sap Moon, when it was time to tap the maple trees.

 We always welcomed the month of March, as the brisk winds of this month dried up the mud of winter. As our dirt roads thawed, passing vehicles churned them into a sea of mud. Many times as we walked back to the grade school, an automobile would pass us and hit a mud puddle throwing mud and water all over us. The younger generation doesn't appreciate a paved road as much as we old timers do.

 It was in the month of February that we received our seed package from the American Seed Company. They put such colorful ads in the comic books, Grit magazine and other publications that our mouths fairly watered at the descriptions of bicycles, radios, watches and other treasures. Every year we ordered their seeds in hope that we would win one of the big prizes.

 Trudging up and down the muddy holler, noses red from cold and hands chapped from the wind, we went from door to door. It was sort of odd; the more affluent families rarely ordered anything, while the poorer ones would at least buy one or two packages. I still remember Rada Brown, who has long ago gone to her reward, brought Larry and me into her living room and had us to warm our hands. She was such a saintly old lady and I have never forgotten her kindness, after all these years.

I don't remember ever winning any sort of prize, even a small one. We always had seeds left over, which Mom had to buy, whether she could use them or not. The next year, we'd do it again. "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life." We never quit hoping for one of those big prizes.

We live in another world now. Gone are the innocent days of childhood, when we hawked our seeds and walked through the neighborhood without fear. It was a safe world then; the little ones played outside with nothing to harm them. The older kids roamed the fields and woods from daylight to dark, and the only fear we had was of snakes. It was different then.

 We received a poem from Charlotte Stevens of Cross Lanes, and it sums up the vast gulf between yesterday and today.

MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB

Mary had a little Lamb,

Its fleece was white as snow.

Everywhere that Mary went

The Lamb was sure to go.

It followed her to school each day

T'wasn't even against the rules,

It made the children laugh and play

To have the lamb at school.

But then the rules all changed one day,

Illegal it became

To bring the Lamb of God to school,

Or even speak His name.

Every day got worse and worse.

As days turned into years

Instead of hearing children laugh

We hear gunshots and tears.

What must we do to stop the crime

That's in our schools and country today?

Let's bring the Lamb back to school

And teach our kids to pray.

            Author Unknown

That is very good, but we need to go back farther than the schools. We need to bring the Lamb of God back into our homes, and instill in our children a love for God. This teaching must begin early, before school age, to lay a firm foundation of faith for our children. It goes without saying that the parents must first be firmly rooted and grounded in true salvation before they can pass it on to their children. Only then can we see a change.

Jack Clark of Cleveland, Tenn., sent the words to an old gospel song that I had never heard. (Max Morris sent it to him.) The words are beautiful.

I COULDN'T BEGIN TO TELL YOU

If I had all the words in our language,

To use at a moment's command,

If I had all the beautiful pictures

Of nature, the sea and the land:

If I spoke in a voice never ending

Speaking only of loveliness,

I couldn't begin to tell you

How beautiful heaven is.

I never, no never, could tell you

How beautiful heaven is.

 

I never, no never could vision

It's magical loveliness

If the gift of the silvery-haired masters

And prophets I could possess

I couldn't begin to tell you

How beautiful heaven is.

If I mixed all the glorious sunsets

With the fathomless mysteries of Mars

If I mixed all the beauty of springtime

With the gleam of the moon and the stars.

If I added the love of all mothers

And the thrill of a baby's kiss

I couldn't begin to tell you

How beautiful heaven is.

 

If I had all the hues of the rainbow

Translated to beautiful words,

If I had all the magical music

If I had all the songs of the birds

If I had all the wisdom of sages

To help me my theme to express

I couldn't begin to tell you

How beautiful heaven is.

What a hope!

I'd like to say thank you to all the precious folks who sent cards, letters and emails expressing their sympathy for the loss of our little dog, Chloe. We have never found her, but we still have hope. You know. "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick . . ." Also, we are offering a $100. reward for her safe return.

Contact Alyce Faye Bragg at alycefaye@citlink.net or write to 2556 Summers Fork Road, Ovapa, WV 25164.


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