While I’ve had family in Franklin for a quarter of a century and I’ve been visiting here long enough to remember when the only thing at I-65 and Murfreesboro Road was Shoney’s and the longgone Uncle Bud’s fried chicken place, I’m still a newcomer. ‘Home’ is a word I’ve employed to describe Franklin only since May of last year. Thank you for forgiving my intrusion.
When you’re new, you get delightfully lost on purpose, heading down roads for no other reason than they look inviting, stepping into shops not so much to make a purchase as to create a mental list of where the good stuff is, and eating at restaurants more for the atmosphere and people than the food. You’re trying to sense the spirit of a place, to feel its heartbeat, and most of all learn and celebrate its stories.
That final task is my favorite. I love a good story and hearing the tales of Williamson County people has been as pleasurable as wine tasting in Napa Valley: these are good stories! “Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you”, wrote Shannon L. Alder. Very clearly one way you know this is a great community is simply from the joyful story telling of her past and her people that folks are eager to pass along.
Sometimes the story is about a musician, and at other times a writer. I’ve heard tell of some artists and entrepreneurs, of racers, prophets, and dragon slayers. There are stories about battlefields and antebellum mansions, of floods and fantastic fights to preserve the past while welcoming the future with open arms, which isn’t easy to do. Here is our community, our home: a place where tradition meets with quiet, bursting creative possibility at every corner. The ink isn’t dry on our story just yet. Near to the treasured historic homes sit the creators in coffee houses, writing the words of our future dreams and love songs.
The Heritage Foundation Program is just one example of allowing a story to be told to the next generation, rooting the writers in the legacy that nourishes our destiny. History is the lifegiving, undiminished presence of the past and our fidelity to it creates a dynamic future. Its also why at the heart of Christian worship lies the word ‘Remembrance’. I know some may find the Church ‘traditional’ and conclude that its irrelevant, its message ‘dusty’ and tone deaf to a quickly changing world. That’s a huge mistake. The Church is most relevant when it proclaims its memory, when it tells the story of a past that secures the future, when it brings us back to the cross and says, ‘This do in remembrance.’