The world of my childhood was bounded on the west by the high bluffs that overlook the harbor. A tidal creed marked the northern extent of the village. Just outside of town were tomato and cucumber fields that seemed to my young mind to be the edge of the world. What could possibly be beyond?
The home in which I grew up was two blocks back from Charleston Harbor. The house dates to the early 1800’s; it is to this day beautiful and unique. When I drive by that old place today, extraordinarily happy memories come flooding back.
Everything in my world was within easy bicycle-riding distance. Summers growing up there were especially wonderful times. Once school was out, shoes were largely an unnecessary item. A vivid childhood memory is how odd and restricting it was to put on shoes once a week to go to church. I spent many hours fishing and crabbing in the creek, and my very earliest entrepreneurial endeavor was selling crabs to Ms. McNulta. I later delivered eggs around town for Mr. Scott who owned a chicken farm across and up the creek. I found out, however, what real work was like when I was old enough to work in the tomato and cucumber packing sheds out on the edge of town.
Family, school and this village defined my world and gave structure and meaning to my life, but it was in the church just around the corner that I came to know what living life was really all about. My brother, sister and I were there every Sunday; my mother saw to that. In that church family were people like Mrs. Green, Mrs. Boench, Mrs. Dupre, the Covington’s, the Cain’s, my priest Mr. Catlin and many others who became very important to me. They nurtured me in the Faith and grew me up in the Lord. I discovered through them something of what it means to love and serve the Lord. Today I am still on that journey of discovery.
I eventually went off to Clemson and found out what was beyond those tomato and cucumber fields. My family, my village and my church family had taught me what I needed to know to love God and live life rightly. I am extraordinarily grateful to God and to them.
Here at Holy Trinity children and young people are becoming increasingly a part of our parish family. We have all heard the old third world saying, “It takes and village to raise a child.” God is surely going to be calling on us to be that “village” for yet unnamed children He will bring to us? We will be that place where these young people will learn to love God and live life rightly?