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GUEST COLUMN: A thread runs through it

Deck Cheatham

Deck Cheatham has been a golf professional for more than 40 years. He lives with his family in Dalton.

It is the Lowcountry, a geographical place with mysteries seeping toward consciousness.

A thread runs through this land and its people like a young live oak reaching, swaying and bending but unbroken against time and storm and man’s onward march.

This place speaks not to the ear, but to the soul. Its wind is laden with the pungent whiff of decay washed by tidal marshes and broad creeks.

Lowcountry people are immune to time. They tolerate it but pay no attention to it. Their rhythm is the eternal tide.

They are the keepers of timelessness held in silence and heart. Here, one is touched by an ancient past and eternal future as the tides ebb and flood indifferent to man’s will.

The Lowcountry taught me devotion and assurance.

From it, I learned faith and rest and patience. I learned peace from mind and progress and its intrusive noise and pain.

If the mountaintop awakens perspective, the Lowcountry draws you into it. A person cannot live here and live apart.

The people, the land, the wind and tides don’t allow it.

There are no strangers in the Lowcountry, only people who have yet to be enveloped by the truth living here. It is a truth unacquired by effort or osmosis, only humility.

There are shadows in the Lowcountry, secrets awaiting one’s coming of age, telling tales and truths harvested from land and time, passed down through generations.

The shadows speak to the wise, the patient, the thoughtful and the watchful.

One does not discover with intention here, one stumbles, listens and surrenders.

The Lowcountry allows its children to leave but cajoles them to return if not in permanence or respite, in mind and memory and spirit.

This place and its people withstand description and capture, but a cliche comes close. It says, “Those who think they know everything…” — well, you can finish it.

The Lowcountry never yields everything. It observes. It embraces. It imbues. It perseveres until we are ready and ready is a matter for the heart and God and God’s time.

This thread is the same thread weaving through the Gospel. The one searching for the wise, the patient, the thoughtful and the watchful, reaching and swaying in time and storm unbending against inhumanity’s march.

It is a mystery, revealing God, beckoning our attention and obedience and humility.

“Those who have ears to hear, let them hear” (Matthew 11:15).

Deck Cheatham has been a golf professional for more than 40 years. He lives with his family in Dalton. Contact him at