Tollierville was a particular type of town, populated with a particular type of people. Each lived in a particular type of house characterized by two front windows adorned with flower boxes, a red front door and chimneys that rose high above the roofs. That visitors would not view Tollierville as a uniform village with people of a conforming sort, the townspeople painted each house a distinct color (matching the red door, of course) so a stroll in the village would cause a visitor to comment on the variety and interest of the town. But in truth, beneath the façade of their quaint little cottages, Tollierville was just a particular type of town, each accountable to another for their commonality. No one looked too far into the future and not too far into the past. One might say a fog had settled over the town.

Every day in Tollierville was like every other day. Everything was in its place, the people were congenial and agreeable, and when they disagreed, civility ruled. Disagreements were rare and arose over things like what type of pie contestants might bake for the annual pie contest. The real tale was over what pie everyone wanted to eat when the winner was announced. Beyond this, folks were quite content with life and thought of nothing more except for one thing.

Though life seemed idyllic, there remained one problem. A certain dinginess covered the houses and streets. Everyone tried to scrub it away, but the dinginess remained. Flowers grew but withered quickly. Quaint as the town appeared, dullness pervaded the people and the houses. It’s just the way it was and had always been.

Time in Tollierville remained predictable until one day a great wind blew through the valley and the streets of the town. What had been a state of calm now became disorder. Nothing was in its place. Nothing appeared as before. It seemed the town folk were unsettled. A certain fear entered the hearts and minds of its people. The problem seemed simple. The fog had lifted and each resident could now see far into their past and see a great distance into their future. A dream awakened within them. Everyone knew it but no one could name it. Each tried.

One said it was like a blossoming flower. Another described it to be a majestic mountain and another a sunrise across a great sea. Each knew the descriptions fell short and the flower and the mountain and the sunrise described was not what the great wind had awakened within them, only like it. Each knew their understanding was just a glimpse. No experience could explain what they knew. All knew it to be indescribable and so each clung to life before the great wind even as each desired to live in the dream.

When the great wind had passed, the people of Tollierville noticed the fog lifting and the dinginess disappearing. A new Tollierville emerged. All now knew but didn’t know how they knew except that the great wind had come and the fog had lifted.

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

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